Archive for the ‘politricks’ Category

Politics and the English Language

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Most people who bother with the matter at all would admit that the English language is in a bad way, but it is generally assumed that we cannot by conscious action do anything about it. Our civilization is decadent and our language — so the argument runs — must inevitably share in the general collapse. It follows that any struggle against the abuse of language is a sentimental archaism, like preferring candles to electric light or hansom cabs to aeroplanes. Underneath this lies the half-conscious belief that language is a natural growth and not an instrument which we shape for our own purposes.

Now, it is clear that the decline of a language must ultimately have political and economic causes: it is not due simply to the bad influence of this or that individual writer. But an effect can become a cause, reinforcing the original cause and producing the same effect in an intensified form, and so on indefinitely. A man may take to drink because he feels himself to be a failure, and then fail all the more completely because he drinks. It is rather the same thing that is happening to the English language. It becomes ugly and inaccurate because our thoughts are foolish, but the slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts. The point is that the process is reversible. Modern English, especially written English, is full of bad habits which spread by imitation and which can be avoided if one is willing to take the necessary trouble. If one gets rid of these habits one can think more clearly, and to think clearly is a necessary first step toward political regeneration: so that the fight against bad English is not frivolous and is not the exclusive concern of professional writers. I will come back to this presently, and I hope that by that time the meaning of what I have said here will have become clearer. Meanwhile, here are five specimens of the English language as it is now habitually written.

: Continue reading the article by George Orwell :


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Posted: January 7th, 2011
at 2:11pm by Koookiecrumbles

Categories: politricks,education,language

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Two Californias

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So there is a surreal nature to these protests: something like, "Please do not send me back to the culture I nostalgically praise; please let me stay in the culture that I ignore or deprecate." I think the DREAM Act protestors might have been far more successful in winning public opinion had they stopped blaming the U.S. for suggesting that they might have to leave at some point, and instead explained why, in fact, they want to stay. What it is about America that makes a youth of 21 go on a hunger strike or demonstrate to be allowed to remain in this country rather than return to the place of his birth?

I think I know the answer to this paradox. Missing entirely in the above description is the attitude of the host, which by any historical standard can only be termed "indifferent." California does not care whether one broke the law to arrive here or continues to break it by staying. It asks nothing of the illegal immigrant a no proficiency in English, no acquaintance with American history and values, no proof of income, no record of education or skills. It does provide all the public assistance that it can afford (and more that it borrows for), and apparently waives enforcement of most of California's burdensome regulations and civic statutes that increasingly have plagued productive citizens to the point of driving them out. How odd that we overregulate those who are citizens and have capital to the point of banishing them from the state, but do not regulate those who are aliens and without capital to the point of encouraging millions more to follow in their footsteps. How odd a to paraphrase what Critias once said of ancient Sparta a that California is at once both the nation's most unfree and most free state, the most repressed and the wildest.

Hundreds of thousands sense all that and vote accordingly with their feet, both into and out of California a and the result is a sort of social, cultural, economic, and political time-bomb, whose ticks are getting louder.>

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Posted: December 16th, 2010
at 11:42am by Koookiecrumbles

Categories: politricks,development

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The Law and Large Numbers

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So, without getting too political… I’d just like to point out that if our politicians are serious about solving the budget crisis, they need to stop talking about million dollar programs, and start taking about 100 billion dollar ones. The problem is that it’s hard to either slash funding for large programs like defense, or social security, and it’s even harder raise taxes (really at all). But if we never consider those options, we’re never going to get out of the rut.

In my undergraduate physics lab, the instructor had a mantra: "A number without context is meaningless". Now, he originally meant the statement to be a lesson on how important it is to quote errors on your measurements, but I think I can adapt it to apply to giving out numbers like 7 billion without a sense of scale.>

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Posted: December 14th, 2010
at 10:02pm by Koookiecrumbles

Categories: business,politricks,blogs,law

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CIA Promoted American Modern Art

Some people (continue to) call it revisionist history, but in 1995 some ofA the people involved in the CIA’s campaign to finance and promote American Modern Art during the Cold War began to come forward.A The article quoted below is one of the first examples of this chain of disclosures.A I personally have never been a huge fan of the style of American Abstract Expressionism, but there are certainly pieces that have a huge, even subconscious cultural effect on even me, a hater.A Ninjas beware: The CIA might be promoting our ish… just sayin’…

The US government now faced a dilemma. This philistinism, combined with Joseph McCarthy’s hysterical denunciations of all that was avant-garde or unorthodox, was deeply embarrassing. It discredited the idea that America was a sophisticated, culturally rich democracy. It also prevented the US government from consolidating the shift in cultural supremacy from Paris to New York since the 1930s. To resolve this dilemma, the CIA was brought in.

The connection is not quite as odd as it might appear. At this time the new agency, staffed mainly by Yale and Harvard graduates, many of whom collected art and wrote novels in their spare time, was a haven of liberalism when compared with a political world dominated by McCarthy or with J Edgar Hoover’s FBI. If any official institution was in a position to celebrate the collection of Leninists, Trotskyites and heavy drinkers that made up the New York School, it was the CIA.

Until now there has been no first-hand evidence to prove that this connection was made, but for the first time a former case officer, Donald Jameson, has broken the silence. Yes, he says, the agency saw Abstract Expressionism as an opportunity, and yes, it ran with it.

"Regarding Abstract Expressionism, I’d love to be able to say that the CIA invented it just to see what happens in New York and downtown SoHo tomorrow!" he joked. "But I think that what we did really was to recognise the difference. It was recognised that Abstract Expression- ism was the kind of art that made Socialist Realism look even more stylised and more rigid and confined than it was. And that relationship was exploited in some of the exhibitions.

"In a way our understanding was helped because Moscow in those days was very vicious in its denunciation of any kind of non-conformity to its own very rigid patterns. And so one could quite adequately and accurately reason that anything they criticised that much and that heavy- handedly was worth support one way or another."

To pursue its underground interest in America’s lefty avant-garde, the CIA had to be sure its patronage could not be discovered. "Matters of this sort could only have been done at two or three removes," Mr Jameson explained, "so that there wouldn’t be any question of having to clear Jackson Pollock, for example, or do anything that would involve these people in the organisation. And it couldn’t have been any closer, because most of them were people who had very little respect for the government
, in particular, and certainly none for the CIA. If you had to use people who considered themselves one way or another to be closer to Moscow than to Washington, well, so much the better perhaps." (Source)

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Posted: December 7th, 2010
at 9:12am by Black Ock

Tagged with , , ,

Categories: art,politricks,weaponry,fo' real?,primary sources,ninjas are everyehere,americana

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Isarithmic History of the Two-Party Presidential Vote

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Posted: November 24th, 2010
at 7:16am by Koookiecrumbles

Categories: politricks,maps

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Gandhi’s Invisible Hands

On September 4, 1915, in the sticky heat of late summer, Mahadev Desai and Narahari Parikh walked without speaking along the Sabarmati River, on the outskirts of Ahmedabad, a city in northwestern India. Desai and Parikh were best friends who shared everything, so the silence between them was uncharacteristic. Their day, however, had been highly unusual, and they were both lost in reflection on what had transpired. When they reached the Ellis Bridge, which spanned the surging waters of the Sabarmati and supported a steady flow of carriage, mule, foot, and, occasionally, car traffic from the bustling city, they stopped and faced each other. They were both thinking about a meeting they had had a few hours earlier with a 46-year-old lawyer who had recently returned to India after living for two decades in South Africa.

Desai finally broke their prolonged silence: "Narahari, I have half a mind to go and sit at the feet of this man." This statement, in which Desai contemplated abandoning his nascent legal career in order to devote himself to the service of someone he had met for the first time that day, changed the course of his life. It also helped change the course of history for a colonized nation seeking freedom and its entrenched imperial rulers. With these words, the 23-year-old Desai began a journey that would produce one of the most important partnerships the modern world has known. The lawyer they had met had extraordinary ambitions that were growing by the day, and he had started to assemble a team of gifted individuals to help him achieve his visions. That lawyer's name was Mohandas Gandhi, and in Mahadev Desai the future Mahatma had found a crucial partner for his historic cause.

: Continue reading the article :

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Posted: November 19th, 2010
at 4:19pm by Koookiecrumbles

Categories: politricks,9th dan,et cetera,philosophy

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Why Are There No 'Peaces'?

Veteran's Day is upon us, at a time when the number of war veterans has been increasing astronomically, with no end in sight.A Which brings up this troubling thought: Could it be that the reason the United Statesaeven under an avowedly antiwar Presidentahas done such a miserable job of "winning the peace" in both Afghanistan and Iraq, as opposed to its earlier and far more successful initiating of wars is that our leaders just aren't really very invested in peace?A More disturbing yet: Insofar as those in power find violence especially compelling, perhaps they aren't that different from the rest of us.

In short, is peace boring? Most people certainly find it less interesting than war.A Nearly all countries, for example, set aside their own Veterans' Days to honor military victories; by contrast, there are precious few "Peace Days."A War Colleges greatly outnumber Institutes of Peace.

It has been saidaalthough disputedathat the Inuit ("Eskimos") have about a dozen words for "snow" (distinguishing between blowing snow, drifted, wet, powder, icy, etc.) and that among the Bedouin, there are more than a hundred words for "camel" (ornery, pregnant, easy-to-ride, male or female, and so forth).A Similarly, in Englishaand most other languagesathere are numerous terms referring to specific wars. We distinguish between, for example,A the Vietnam War, Korean War, World Wars I and II, etc., but have only one word for "peace.">

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Posted: November 12th, 2010
at 3:49pm by Koookiecrumbles

Categories: politricks,education,americana

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Do You Want Another Rap?

Soon to be viral…

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Posted: November 11th, 2010
at 9:25pm by Koookiecrumbles

Categories: myninjaplease,music,politricks

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Learn that Smell : Scratch n’ Sniff

In a government effort to curb what is perhaps their nation’s best-known vice, Dutch households will soon receive marijuana-scented scratch-and-sniff cards to help them detect illegal urban cannabis plantations in their vicinity, the BBC isAreporting.

According to Rotterdam authorities, over 30,000 cards are being distributed this week to help citizens identify marijuana’s pungent odor. Each of the 8-by-4 inch cards, which bear the slogan "Assist in combatting cannabis plantations," contain two boxes which can be scratched to release the cannabis scent, along with the telephone number of a local police precinct.

"Citizens must be alerted to the dangers they face as a result of these plantations, and if they become aware of any suspect situations, they must report them," Arnie Loos, spokesman for a government-appointed working group on cannabis cultivation, isAquoted by the AFP as saying. "If people do in fact call the number listed on the card, we could make this a national operation.">

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Posted: November 10th, 2010
at 10:53pm by Koookiecrumbles

Categories: drogas,politricks,real life news

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