Saturday, November 29, 2003

Bob Roberts, MP3, and the Music Clear Channel Won't Play

The Times are a-changing...back!

I just came back from a tour of the wondrous A-Changin' Times (ACT) weblog
which set fire to my cerebrum, particularly within cortical islands awash in of my first and enduring loves. And I was wondering if this could be the end of our pride and glory.

When one compares, for example, the songs from the golden age of music...when Hendrix, Quicksilver, CSNY, Bob Dylan, the Beatles, Buffalo Springfield, and more than a few others were doing the job our Media is supposed to do...with the songs of today's commercial radio, one has to wonder...where the nuts? In both senses actually. It is, in a way, nutty to speak truth to power. One might get a spanking, locked up, ostracized. It may impact the bottom line.

And yet people, musicians and artists stood up anyway. The Beatles, like the Dixie Chicks after them, had their music burned, stamped upon...immortalized. And yet even the brave Dixie Chicks would never write such lyrics as the following:

What About Me?
by Quicksilver

You poisoned my sweet water,
you cut down my green trees,
the food you fed my children
was the cause of their disease.
My world is slowly falling down,
and the air's not good to breath,
and those of us who care enough
we have to do something...

Oooooooooooooo! what you gonna do about me?
Oooooooooooooo! what you gonna do about me?

Your newspapers, they just put you on,
they never tell you the whole story.
They just put your young ideas down.
I was wondering...
could this be the end of their pride and glory?


I work in your factories, I study in your schools,
I fill your penitenturies and your military too,
and I feel the future trembling
as the word is passed around...
If you stand up for what you do believe,
be prepared to be shot down.


I feel like a stranger in the land where I was born,
and I live like an outlaw and I'm always on the run.
I'm always getting busted, and I got to take a stand,
I feel the revolution must be mighty close at hand...


I smoke marijuana, but I can't get behind your wars,
and most of what I do believe is against most of your laws.
I'm a fugitive from injustice, but I'm going to be free,
cause your rules and regulations...
they don't do a thing for me.


I feel like a stranger, in the land where I was born,
and I live just like an outlaw, and I'm always on the run.
And though you may be stronger now, my time will come around.
You keep adding to my numbers as you shoot my people down...



It's as if the REFRAIN were meant as a cautionary punctuum...(So I like to make up words! You can figure the meaning) serving to put an end to music as revolution.

But it never really ended. It has simply left the airwaves, and has wound up in places like MP3, which I heard will be shutting its doors in early December.

This, I suspect, is a product of a confluence of forces. The Music Mafia, who wants a piece of every song released...and the Political watchdogs who can't stand the freedom of expression going on over there.

How stupid can you get?

Is intellectual property lost on these guys? Do they not realize they are turning away a thousand Elvises? Killing a thousand geese with golden eggs?

Apparently all their stock is in Clay Aiken and Britney. Harmless kids with nothing to say.
Flashes in the proverbial pan.

It was not ever so...

During the late '60s and early '70s, we had some hip stations here in Charlotte that would play Quicksilver, Lennon's "Working Class Hero", CSN's "Ohio", "Chicago" and "Cathedral" as well as a host of other songs that challenged the status quo.
But these went by the least until recently, when Dave -- one of the better DJs from the golden years -- returned...bringing his music with him. Now at least some of the old iconoclastic anthems can be heard again.

But MP3 is still going away...and who will take up their mantle?

Must we concede to a Bob Roberts future? I don't think so. But I am the eternal optimist. When I powwow with my nephew and his friends, I see a mirror of the same idealism of the historically hip, and realize that many of us in the historically hip category...are still, in the main, hip. We just need to be reminded at times. These are such times.

Together we make quite a constituency. One mustn't let down our guard, since it is their lives we are protecting and providing for.

We have seen the Internet Revolution gobbled up and discarded by moneyed interests. Many excellent sites and services have been removed from the table simply because people chose money over their webchild.

The powers that be want us to get all our information from TV and Radio and Print, and they are making sure there are less and less of these...looked at from the top.
They want us to have to go through gatekeepers and jump through hoops if we dare to want our word published.

The Clinton Administration opened up more freedoms than we can imagine...and now they are in danger of being taken away. Imagine going back to a time where nearly all your news and music is canned and stamped for approval. Dark Ages II.

Don't be surprised if this scenerio comes down the pike: The Internet is brought to its knees by an attack by terrorists. Will we be certain who those terrorists are? If one follows the money, one might see that the short-term beneficiaries are the Big Media and Bush Inc. And together they can say anything they want.

I hope this never comes to pass. We could not sustain such an attack on our now most important freedoms.

Long live freedom!
Bring back the music...

Friday, November 28, 2003

The Art of Worldly Wisdom


The Art of Worldly Wisdom
Balthasar Gracian

To the extent that you have to exist in the world...

"The real danger of a world in chaos is the unhinging of your own integrity." - Gracian

Over 300 years ago, this worldly Jesuit priest, counselor to kings, the genius of his age, made a careful study of the powerful and elite who managed to prosper. Today, his words and thoughts still speak eloquently to the need for ethical behavior in our chaotic world. His writings were later confiscated and banned by the Church, but his wisdom survived.

The greatest minds of Europe, Friedrich Nietzsche and Arthur Schopenhauer, drew inspiration from his writings.

Balthasar Gracian's The Art of Worldly Wisdom

A few choice maxims:

28. Be common in nothing.
Especially not in taste. It is great and wise to be ill at ease when your deeds please the mob! The excesses of popular applause never satisfy the sensible. There are chameleons of popularity who find enjoyment not in the sweet savors of Apollo but in the breath of the mob. Secondly, do not be common in intelligence; take no pleasure in the wonder of the mob, for ignorance never gets beyond wonder. While vulgar folly wonders, wisdom watches for the deception.

32. Have a reputation for being gracious.
It is the chief glory of the high and the mighty to be gracious, a prerogative of kings to conquer with universal goodwill. That is the great advantage of a commanding position - to be able to do more good than others. Those make friends who do friendly acts. On the other hand, there are some who fix themselves on not being gracious, not on account of difficulty but due to a bad disposition. In all things they are the opposite of divine grace.

34. Know your strongest quality.
Know your pre-eminent gift - cultivate it and it will assist the rest. Everyone would have excelled in something if he had known his strong point. Notice in what quality you surpass and take charge of that. In some people judgement excels, in others valor. Most do violence to their natural aptitude and thus attain superiority in nothing. Time enlightens us too late of what was first only a flattering of the passions.

37. Keep a store of sarcasms and know how to use them.
This is the point of greatest tact in human intercourse. Such sarcasms are often thrown out to test people's moods, and by their means one often obtains the most subtle and penetrating touchstone of the heart. Other sarcasms are malicious, insolent, poisoned by envy or envenomed by passion, unexpected flashes that destroy at once all favor and esteem. Struck by the slightest word of this kind, many fall away from the closest intimacy with superiors or inferiors that would not have been the slightest shaken by a whole conspiracy of popular insinuation or private malevolence. Other sarcasms work favorably, confirming and assisting one's reputation. But the greater the skill with which they are launched, the greater the caution with which they should be anticipated and received. For here a knowledge of malice is in itself a means of defense, and a shot foreseen always misses its mark.

40. Gain people's goodwill.
It is a great thing to gain universal admiration, but greater to gain universal affection. It depends on natural disposition but more so on practice; the first is the foundation, the second then builds on that. Great gifts are not enough, though they are thought to be essential - win good opinion and it is easy to win goodwill. Kindly acts are required to produce kindly feelings - do good with both hands, good words and better deeds, love so as to be loved. Courtesy is the politic magic of great people. First, lay the hand on deeds and then on the pen - words follow swords and the goodwill to be won among writers is eternal.

52. Never be upset.
It is a great aim of prudence never to be embarrassed. This is the sign of a real person, of a noble heart, for magnanimity is not easily put off balance. The passions are the humors of the soul, and every excess in them weakens prudence. If they overflow through the mouth, the reputation will be in danger. Let us therefore be so great a master over ourselves that neither in the most fortunate nor in the most adverse circumstances can anything cause our reputation injury by disturbing our self-possession but rather enhance it by showing superiority.

64. Avoid worry.
Such prudence brings its own reward. It escapes much, and is thus the midwife of comfort and so of happiness. Neither give nor take bad news unless it can help. Some people's ears are stuffed with the sweets of flattery, others with the bitters of scandal, while some cannot live without a daily annoyance no more than Mithridates (Mithridates VI, 132-63 BCE, King of Pontus, is said to have taken small doses of poison to immunize himself from it in an event that it might be used in an assassination attempt) without poison. It is no rule of life to prepare for yourself lifelong trouble in order to give a temporary enjoyment to another, however near and dear. You should never spoil your own chances in order to please another who advises but keeps out of the affair.

65. Cultivate taste.
You can train it like the intellect. Full knowledge whets desire and increases enjoyment. You may know a noble spirit by the elevation of his taste. Only a great thing can satisfy a great mind. Big bites for big mouths, lofty things for lofty spirits. Before their judgement the bravest tremble, the most perfect lose confidence. Few things are of the first importance, so let appreciation be rare. Taste can be imparted by personal intercourse; it is great good luck to associate with the highest taste.But do not profess to be dissatisfied with everything; this is the extreme of folly, and more odious if from affectation than if from unreachable ideals. Some would have God create another world and other ideals to satisfy their fantastic imagination.

87. Culture and elegance.
We are born barbarians and only raise ourselves above the beast by culture. Culture therefore makes the person; the greater a person the more culture. Thanks to this, Greece could call the rest of the world barbarians. Ignorance is very raw - nothing contributes so much to culture as knowledge. But even knowledge is coarse if without elegance. Not alone must our intelligence be elegant, but also our desires, and above all our conversation.Some people are naturally elegant in internal and external qualities, in their thoughts, in their words, in their dress, which is the rind of the soul as their talents are its fruit. There are others, on the other hand, so gauche that everything about them, even their most excellent quality, is tarnished by an intolerable and barbaric want of neatness.

88. Let your behavior be fine and noble.
A great person ought not to be little in his actions. He ought never to pry too minutely into things, least of all in unpleasant matters. For though it is important to know all, it is not necessary to know all about all.One ought to act in such cases with the generosity of a gentleman, with conduct worthy of a gallant person. To pretend to overlook things is a large part of the work of ruling. Most things must be left unnoticed among relatives and friends, and even among enemies. All superfluity is annoying, especially in things that annoy. To keep hovering around the object of your annoyance is a kind of mania. Generally speaking, everybody behaves according to his heart and his understanding.

90. The secret of long life.
Lead a good life. Two things bring life speedily to an end: folly and immorality. Some lose their life because they have not the intelligence to keep it, others because they have not the will. Just as virtue is its own reward, so is vice its own punishment. He who lives a fast life runs through life to its end doubly quick. A virtuous life never dies. The firmness of the soul is communicated to the body, and a good life is not only long but also full.

92. Transcendent wisdom.
I mean in everything. An ounce of wisdom is worth more than a ton of cleverness is the first and highest rule of all deeds and words, the more necessary to be followed the higher and more numerous your post. It is the only sure way, though it may not gain so much applause. A reputation for wisdom is the last triumph of fame. It is enough if you satisfy the wise, for their judgement is the touchstone of true success.

106. Do not parade your position.
To boast about your position is more offensive than personal vanity. To pose as an important person is to be hated - you should surely have had enough envy. The more you seek esteem the less you obtain it, for it depends on the opinion of others. You cannot take it, but must earn and receive it from others. Great positions require exercising a sufficient amount of authority - without it they cannot be adequately filled. Preserve therefore enough dignity to carry on the duties of the office. Do not enforce respect, but try to create it. Those who insist on the dignity of their office, show they have not deserved it, and that it is too much for them. If you wish to be valued, be valued for your talents, not for anything obtained by chance. Even kings prefer to be honored for their personal qualifications rather than for their station.

109. Do not be censorious.
There are people of gloomy character who regard everything as faulty, not from any evil motive but because it is their nature to. They condemn all - these for what they have done, those for what they will do. This indicates a nature worse than cruel, vile indeed. They accuse with such exaggeration that they make out of motes beams with which to poke out the eyes. They are always taskmasters who could turn a paradise into a prison - if passion intervenes they drive matters to the extreme. A noble nature, on the contrary, always knows how to find an excuse for failings, saying the intention was good, or it was an error of oversight

122. Distinction in speech and action.
By this you gain a position in many places and win esteem in advance. It shows itself in everything, in talk, in look, even in gait. It is a great victory to conquer people's hearts. It does not arise from any foolish presumption or pompous talk, but in a becoming tone of authority born of superior talent combined with true merit.

125. Do not be a blacklister of other people's faults.
It is a sign of having a tarnished name to concern oneself with the ill fame of others. Some wish to hide their own stains with those of others, or at least wash them away; or they seek consolation therein - it is the consolation of fools. Their breath must stink who form the sewers of scandal for the whole town. The more one grubs about in such matters the more one befouls oneself. There are few without stain somewhere or other. It is only of little known people that the failings are little known. Be careful then to avoid being a registrar of faults. That is to be an abominable thing, a man that lives without a heart.

127. Grace in everything.
It is the life of talent, the breath of speech, the soul of action, and the ornament or ornament. Perfections are the adornment of our nature, but this is the adornment of perfection itself. It shows itself even in the thoughts. It is mostly a gift of nature and owes least to education - it even triumphs over training. It is more than ease, approaches the free and easy, gets over embarrassment, and adds the finishing touch to perfection. Without it beauty is lifeless, graciousness ungraceful. It surpasses valor, discretion, prudence, even majesty itself. It is a shortcut to accomplishment and an easy escape from embarrassment.

128. High-mindedness.
This is one of the principal qualifications for a gentleman, it spurs us on to all kinds of nobility. It improves the taste, ennobles the heart, elevates the mind, refines the feelings, and intensifies dignity. It raises him in whom it is found. At times it even remedies the bad turns of fortune, which turns itself around because of envy. High-mindedness can find full scope in the will when it cannot be exercised in act. Magnanimity, generosity, and all heroic qualities recognize in it their source.

114. Never compete. Every competition damages your reputation.
Our rivals seize occasion to obscure us so as to outshine us. Few wage honorable war. Rivalry discloses faults that courtesy would hide. Many have lived in good repute while they had no rivals. The heat of conflict revives and gives new life to dead scandals, digging up long-buried skeletons. Competition begins with belittling, and seeks aid anywhere it can, not only where it should. And when the weapons of abuse do not effect their purpose, as often or mostly happens, our opponents seek revenge and use them at least for beating away the dust of oblivion from anything that is our discredit. People of goodwill are always at peace, and those of good reputation and dignity are of goodwill.

174. Do not live in a hurry.
To know how to separate things is to know how to enjoy them. Many people finish their fortune sooner than their life. They run through pleasures without enjoying them, and would like to go back when they find they have overrun the mark. Postilions of life, they increase the ordinary pace of life by the hurry of their own calling. They devour more in one day than they can digest in a whole lifetime; they live in advance of pleasures, eat up the years beforehand, and by their hurry get through everything too soon. Even in the search for knowledge there should be moderation, lest we learn things better left unknown. We have more days to live through than pleasures. Be slow in enjoyment, quick at work, for people see work ended with pleasure, pleasures ended with regret.

192. A peaceful life is a long life.
To live, let live. Peacemakers not only live, they rule life. Hear, see, and be silent. A day without dispute brings sleep without dreams. Long life and a pleasant one is life enough for two - that is the fruit of peace. He has all that makes nothing of what is nothing to him. There is no greater perversity than to take everything to heart. There is equal folly in troubling our heart about what does not concern us and in not taking to heart what does.

203. Know the great people of your age.
They are not many. There is one phoenix in the whole world, one great general, one perfect orator, one true philosopher in a century, one really illustrious king in several. Mediocrities are as numerous as they are worthless; eminent greatness is rare in every respect, since it needs complete perfection, and the higher the species the more difficult is the highest rank in it. Many have claimed the title Great, like Caesar and Alexander, but in vain, for without deeds the title is a mere breath of air. There have been few Senecas, and fame records but one Apelles.

232. Have a touch of business sense.
Life should not be all thought, there should be action as well. Very wise folk are generally easily deceived, for while they know out-of-the-way things they do not know the ordinary things of life, which are of real necessity. The observation of higher things leaves them no time for things close at hand. Since they do not know the very first thing they should know - and what everybody knows so well - they are either esteemed or thought ignorant by the superficial multitude. Let therefore the prudent take care to have something to the businessman about him - enough to prevent him being deceived and so laughed at. Be a person adapted to the daily round, which if not the highest is the most necessary thing in life. Of what use is knowledge if it is not practical, and to know how to live is nowadays the true knowledge.

245. Have original and out-of-the-way views.
These are signs of superior ability. We do not think much of someone who never contradicts us; that is not a sign he loves us but rather that he loves himself. Do not be deceived by flattery and thereby have to pay for it, rather condemn it. Besides, you may be given credit for being criticized by some, especially if they are those of whom the good speak ill. On the contrary, it should disturb us if our affairs please everyone, for that is a sign that they are of little worth. Perfection is for the few.

Wednesday, November 26, 2003

Arrogance is a Disease that often leads to War

The Yin and Yang of Conservatism

The 7 States of Sickness
(from "Natural Healing Through Macrobiotics" by Michio Kushi)

1. Fatigue or Tiredness
2. Aches and Pains
3. Blood Diseases
4. Emotional Disorders
5. Organ Diseases
6. Nerve Diseases
7. Arrogance


1. Fatigue or Tiredness - The major causes are lack of physical exercise plus over-eating and over-drinking, particularly meat and sugar.
2. Aches and Pains - The nervous system starts to weaken.
3. Blood Diseases - Thought incurable, these can often be cured by proper diet.
4. Emotional Disorders - This category includes problems such as irritability, impatience, upset, anger, anxiety, worry, fear, and uneasiness. A healthy person is not bothered by negative emotional states. If we become angry even once a year, we are not completely healthy. Ideally, we should not become angry even once during an entire lifetime.
(This was written before The Great Dewakening; The Current Unpleasantness. It could be argued that anger,as a defense mechanism, should be reserved for such times as these...although I much prefer Gandhean Satyagraha to vehemence and anger. Besides, there is always the Butterfly Effect to consider, as well as the even more subtle Taoist notion that one need not lift a finger, or make any ripple in the material world. A vision, well-wrought, can change minds and worlds effortlessly, internally. I digress...)
5. Organ Diseases - Organs begin to degenerate.
6. Nerve Diseases - Dullness, forgetfulness, social crimes.
7. Arrogance - This occurs when we try to separate ourselves from nature and the universe, and happens in one of two ways. The first is yang arrogance, and it appears in the form of a domineering, conquering, or self-insistent personality which tends to drive others away.
This yang arrogance is what George W. Bush, and many on the flagrant right-conservative site of the dial, have digested...although it occasionally takes root among those left of which point they become neo-cons, after having passed through Dennis Miller.

"The yin type of arrogance shows itself in the form of withdrawal or a refusal to listen. Many of the elderly and and those who consider themselves devout or religious suffer from this form of arrogance. This type of person is usually not open to the opinions or suggestions of others."

Kushi continues: " Arrogance is actually the underlying cause of all human sickness and unhappiness and is at the same time the end point of the first six stages. Ultimately, all people who suffer from arrogance commit suicide by dying an unnatural death, either through sickness, war, accident, or other causes. The basic purpose of macrobiotic healing is to cure arrogance."

So here we have it. The explanation of what is today called "Conservatism"...although the only thing these folks are concerned about conserving is their ego; their arrogance -- whether it be in the form of Bush-style brashness, or the quieter, more obscurantistic hard-headed self-righteousness exhibited by the more reposed.

Arrogance is a killer...of self and others. It incorrectly places the ego where God, the Tao, the spirit, Stewardship, Magnanimity, or whatever name you call it, should be.

An image came to me last night which made me laugh. It was of a party where the brashest, most arrogant person arrives first...and every succeeding person had to one-up every preceding person. Imagine a Foghorn Leghorn, an Ahnold...followed by increasing degrees of Ahnoldness or Fogginess, if you will. How obnoxious can one party get?
Could such a party bear any fruit? Would any come out alive?

Arrogance is a perennial problem among those in power. We see it in the upper chambers of government and business...and we see the rotten fruit.

Arrogance is not to be confused with confidence. Post-docs are confident. Those with lesser degrees are arrogant...if I were to draw an analogy from the Academy. Those with a little education tend to be the know-it-alls, while the truly educated...continue learning. No room for arrogance when one is so outwardly focused.

arrogance and posterity

There is, I believe, a type of arrogance which might not be unhealthy, and it was discussed in Schoenhauer's essay, "On Genius". Here Schopenhauer talks about the "arrogance" of the writer or artist whose work is intended for posterity...or as some have said...that for whom one writes after having been rejected by the commercial presses. The "genius", as Schopenhauer says, may try to adjust himself to his times, and to the "artists" and critics of the day...but he will never attain greatness for having done so. His or her "arrogance" allows this de-gravitation, so to speak, from the chauvinism of contemporaneity.

Such folks are not in competition with one's regulars, but are rather in league with the guiding lights of the ages. Fixed stars, not shooting stars.

If one must be arrogant, let it be the kind of arrogance borne of having moved beyond one's own mere life or lifetime. The Mr. Creasotes of the world will eventually eat themselves to death. Not our concern.

I'll end with a quote that could well describe most liberals. It is from a book called, "How to be a Gentleman", by John Bridges.

"A gentleman never makes himself the center of attention. His goal is to make life easier, not just for himself, but for his friends, his acquaintences, and the world at large."

While a Conservative may succeed in getting to the point where friends and acquaintences are included within their sphere of concern...they always, always, fall flat on the last point. It is this point where Liberals go far beyond the current crop of least among the more outspoken of them (there are always exceptions, of course) and shine as the true gentlemen and gentlewomen of our age, and, at times, all ages.

So rather than try and out-arrogate the RepCons...we can simply continue being the worldly gentlemen and women we are. Win or lose, we set the example, and live it. Simply living it will make for a better world. Is this not a worthy goal? Need we really be in some public driver's seat? The driver's seat is overrated...

The "Driver's Seat" is Overrated

At the end of "Beelezebub's Tales to his Grandson", Gurdjieff makes the following analogy of who and what we are:

Picture a Stagecoach. It is the body, and optimally we will keep it in good working condition...but this is not who we are. Sorry Ahnold!

There is also a Horse which moves the Coach forward. The Horse is our Will and Emotions. But it is not who we are. Sorry Adolph and George!

Then there is the Driver. He tells the Horse where to take the Coach.
The Driver is our brain. But it is not who we are. Sorry, Mr. Roverer!

Say what? We are not our brains either?? What gives?

The West, according to Mr. Gurdjieff -- who, after all had at least a double-digit IQ -- has forgotten the Passenger: The one who tells the Driver where to take him. When the Passenger gets to his destination...he gets out. And we mourn the carriage!

But there will be more carriages. Count on it. SUVs even...especially here in The United States of Biggie-Size-it. But we are not our cars, our carriages, our horses, or our brains. We are, as they say, souls who happen to have a body...not the other way around. For these few...when they die...they really die. But we are the animation; the passenger. And it is here where we all meet and interpenetrate within the supraphenomenal goo; the Eternal Thou; Ethernal Tao; Jones.

The passenger knows no arrogance. Arrogance is reserved for the carriage, the horse and the driver. Drive Miss Lazy! Time is but a material concern.

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

Free the Ostriches!

Free the Ostriches!

End the Tsarist Occupation Government!

Spamblogs, Jenn Theater and Social Spam

A heads-up from your uncle...

Jenn Theater: Social Spam
- Posted by Clay Shirky at 6:15 PM
One of my colloquial definitions for social software is “stuff that gets spammed”, since there has to be some sort of valid participatory channel for spam to show up. We’ve seen spam extend from usenet to email to IM and now comment spam, but this, I think, is a new one: a spam weblog, Jenn Theater.

How Candidates should answer questions

Here's what is going on at the Democratic Debates: Democratic Debasement.
Questions are framed in such a way as to show the candidate in a bad light, or to get them to bring out the bad qualities of another. Playing into their hands is unintelligent, and acting on it, ungentlemanly...and diminuitive to the party as a whole.

Governor Dean showed the way to a new approach tonight when he paid a complement to Mr. Kucinich, and John Edwards, Al Sharpton and General Clark have each given compliments to others on the stage, and with good effect...both to them and the recipient of the praise. But don't stop at niceties! Why not see who can pay the highest compliment to one or more of the others. Way more effective than tooting ones own horn...and it is a form of product placement and good PR for everyone involved...including the Democratic Party. There is much to brag about!

Maybe the one who pays the best compliment, and one who receives the highest compliment will become a team. POTUS and VPOTUS, say. And what if, say, Howard Dean receives the most votes, but then performs an amazing act of grace and says that he wants to serve as VP to Wes Clark, whom he feels would be more suited, given the nature of the current crisis, and wishing to comport with the natural order...since, being a younger man, he could well prepare for the future role while serving as VP.

And wouldn't John Edwards make a better Attorney General than John Ashcroft? Who would doubt that?

And who better for the Secretary of the Department of Peace than Mr. Kucinich?
So many wondrous opportunities ahead! May they all find a place in the coming Democratic Correction. many possibilities! Keep an open mind...

But aside from praising others while preparing your response, one may well toss out responses to questions made to others...but please...only if you know you can also answer the specific question, posed to you, as well.

We brought you Exuberance. Bush brought you Terror.

Use the time to celebrate each other, and the party you represent. One of the strong suits of the Democratic Party is that it welcomes, nourishes, and celebrates diversity...and are known for being excellent producers of exuberance in the process. We are not the Doom and Gloom. We are living the Doom and Gloom. We were the Exuberance! (How soon some forget!)

Another thing... It doesn't hurt to meditate prior to debating. Keeps one the best sense of the word.


Someone should collect all the questions asked during the debates (or on Russert, etc.) and then simply list this:

1) Why do you suck?
2) Why do people like you suck?
3) Do you still beat your wife?
4) If your daughter were raped by Willie Horton, would you let your child stay at Neverland?

This way we can see clearly just how stupid these questions really are.
And to think just how much jing these folks rake in...and for what? Questions that have already been asked a hundred times? Questions about their operating system? Their modus underwearandi?

The questions asked in a debate of such import should be of utmost importance.
One is reminded of what Sartre said about certain refugees whose silence was tied to their staying alive. But at certain times, a moment would open up where one could speak with another. Their utterances were the opposite of small talk. We've all but forgotten that language. This is tied to freedoms we are now in jeopardy of losing.

Would we only have raised our consciousness in word-drunk times...

Monday, November 24, 2003

Bush's Actual Words

Forget about his ghostwriters and speechwriters...what has he written, and where is it?

There ain't even much by way of said ghostwriters and speechwriters, so I know, or at least suspect, that his own scribblings are well locked away, if not shredded.

Clinton and Gore gave us copious amounts of fine writing and high ideals, grounded in pragmatic, democratic sensibility. Can the Republicans show up at this debate of ideas? I seriously doubt it. He probably won't show up at the official debates. He has done with debates, I assure you this. As Gore Vidal said, "A politician has to hide his game." And in this sense, Bush is the supreme politician. Nothing gets out that isn't wrapped in payola.

Someone should take it upon themselves to gather, in one place, all of the writings and unscripted utterances of The Occupant. This should make any of the Democrats a shoe-in.

The Mirror Test

"A Conservative Government is an organized Hypocrisy."
- Benjamin Disraeli

Historically hip dude, Ben Franklin -- not to be confused with Osama Ben Franklin Roosevelt Greer Garson Kanin Abel -- is credited with devising a system, an hermeneutic, a rule of thumb whereby one might adjudge the costs and benefits of possible future actions. You simply draw a line down a page and put the plusses on one side and the minuses on the other. Should one side greatly outweigh the've got your answer. A pretty good, but not failsafe system.

I'd like to propose another system. Call it the Mirror Test or the Mirror Test...if you are Italian. In this system, one simply reverses the players, as in politics, and then weighs the fairness...or whatever criteria you might be looking for. Dixize perexaump.

Take, for example, the more controversial assertions that the Bushitler Admenstruation, Flush Sinbaud, Faux News, Phat Robertson and other knuckleheads and slabberdegullions who have a sort of bundle or fasces of beliefs...extract those beliefs...and foist them upon, say, the glowing Clinton Administration. A mirror test. You know.

How, for example, would the Bushies take to Janet Reno's rearranging of the laws in order to better spy on them? Would they champion the so-called Patriot Act? If so, I'd suggest it was simply because it had the name "patriot" in it. Oh yes. They would also have had Clinton impeached for having the nerve to use a Republican word.

If Bush had won the Popular Vote, but Gore had family and work partners in the Supreme Court, and Clinton's Court took charge of deciding who would be president, and went on to, of course, pick Gore...would you have accepted it? Would you have thought it best to simply crawl back into a hole and pretend it didn't happen? Or would you consider Gore illegitimate, and having a strong memory...remember that fact? Maybe even be a little perturbed, and wondering if this is not a bad precedent (and President) for a nation with such high ideals and standards as the United States of America?

The problem with the Mirror Test is that one would have to at least affect an air of impartiality; disinterest. And many of those whom I think would best benefit from taking such a test...are actually and certifiably...interested. They will make money off the deal. To these people I can only suggest that you read Eckhart and Jahaezus.

I would like to challenge any reader who should happen along to try and apply the Mirror Test to whatever agenda they may be pushing. Applying Kant's Categorical Imperative might not hurt either. Kant would never go along with Bush's policy of preemption, and he would have a difficult time with our own storehouses of weapons of mass destruction. Some day the war machine will have to be forever put to rest, and just as with the chariot-makers of old...they are going to have to get a different job. Time to retrain these hawks and profiteers. Let them become History Teachers.

On second thought...

So...the job for ye Bush apologists, should you light here, is to hold up that mirror.
There really is a reason why most of the world despises The Occupant. Open your third eye and see...

And speaking of which...did anyone see Andrew Sullivan on ABC's George on Sunday?
Surely, after that, he must realize that he is fighting for his foe. Will he now come to his senses?

What a great show that is! Best on Sunday morning! A class act!

Sunday, November 23, 2003

"Hurry up! Rush is Jonesing!"

The League of Liberals blog has been added to the weblog of Anonymoses: Uncle of All Blogs

Avuncularity soon to be considered

In a bold move on Sunday, beloved blogographer, Anonymoses -- reputed to be the so-called "Uncle of All Blogs" -- linked the fine folks at the League up to his Internet home page on the World Wide Web...which is fast becoming the lastest thing to hit the bloody Red States since individually-wrapped apt metaphor for those territories that don't comprise the headland, generously called the heartland, although we all know it is the anusland. We do, of course, exclude the thousands of points of light who have wherewithal sufficient to serve their apotropaic interests, and ours.

The Selection of Bush was a bomb at the end of Clinton's bridge to the 21st century, we had safely crossed...only to fall into a booby-trapped ravine set by Bush's cadre of Men Who Hate Peace. Wouldn't be prudent. Dut'n pay! And now we find ourselves corncootered to death by twangs of nucular greed, and the world and earth MOABed to the point where no life could grow if it wanted to. Consider how Jefferson gridded our ecosystem to death, unwittingly, and contributed to our own dustbowl, our own Iraqification. Gaia will definitely NOT be voting for Bush or Cheney...or any other member of the Greed-Oil-Pollution Party. (Or was that the Groping-Oxycontin-Phatrobertson party?)

At any rate, we are the big tent; the Great Raft. Mahafreakingyana! As such we would do well to be not only Liberals, Progressives, and Independents...we need to marginalize that which is already, de facto, marginalized. Tell them your uncle made you do it. Tell them we are non-conservatives, but better yet, tell them we are pro-humanity. We college grads understand the interdependency of all life, and are not narrow in our biophilia, like the so-called "pro-lifers". Too bad they stole the domain name...

As President Clinton said in his most recent, a must-read-and-study address...we need to remain happy. We are always truthful, but sometimes our anger poisons the message. Ann Magnussen, while fronting Bongwater, put it well: "When you start thinking like that, you start thinking like they's time to let go of the material world."