Justifiable War?

General discussions of interest to readers and fans of Harlan Ellison.

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cynic
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Re: Justifiable War?

Postby cynic » Mon Aug 17, 2009 8:40 pm

FrankChurch wrote: Sure, Russell Kirk was a different form of beast, but his ilk is dead. Todays Republicans are crazy.
We use the scientific method, at it shows. This is why they hate us. We tell the truth.
yep,there're crazies all 'round.
truth,sure.If only YOU could limit yourself to it, rather than adding fabrication,exageration and pure fantasy.
follow your bliss,mike

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FrankChurch
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Re: Justifiable War?

Postby FrankChurch » Tue Aug 18, 2009 11:16 am

As long as you don't take everything I say seriously, Mike.

Some of what I say is MY OPINION. Some is evidentiary. If the New York Times can give folks personal opinions, devoid of facts, then surely a dumb forum can.

Nothing personal. haha

cynic
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Re: Justifiable War?

Postby cynic » Tue Aug 18, 2009 11:49 am

FrankChurch wrote:As long as you don't take everything I say seriously, Mike.

Some of what I say is MY OPINION. Some is evidentiary. If the New York Times can give folks personal opinions, devoid of facts, then surely a dumb forum can.
given your capacity for exaggeration,fabrication and flights of fantasy, when your posts reach the level " devoid of facts",this "dumb forum" may reach the level of nyt's op-ed?

i would like to believe your intent is to do better.

why don't you? make noam proud, not ill.

and, not to be mean, but this is totaly personal.

luv and support, mike
follow your bliss,mike

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FrankChurch
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Re: Justifiable War?

Postby FrankChurch » Tue Aug 18, 2009 12:35 pm

When I say something wrong, I will say so.

Remember, I use other people's information. I am not a journalist. I use what I consider is truth, based on what can be realiably verified.

Noam is called a lunatic. So, I must be doing something right. Yes men are the problem. Mike, come to the light.

cynic
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Re: Justifiable War?

Postby cynic » Tue Aug 18, 2009 1:14 pm

FrankChurch wrote:As long as you don't take everything I say seriously, Mike.
I don't frank,I don't .
follow your bliss,mike

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Ezra Lb.
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Re: Justifiable War?

Postby Ezra Lb. » Tue Aug 18, 2009 4:13 pm

Frank since you seem unwilling or unable to grasp my main point (which is in fact pretty simple) and that I supposed I had sketched out in a fairly straightforward manner in my post of Mon Aug 17, 2009 1:48 pm, all that is left to me is to chase whatever rabbits you scare up by your flailing around in the tall grass.

Since I find the idea of doing this to be as mind-numbingly tedious as anybody else would who read it I will refrain. You will of course interpret this as some kind of surrender but that's ok.

Just two illustrations then-

1. Polls indicate that most folks would vote for gays before they would vote for atheists, surely a despised minority in this country. Yet Dawkins, Harris, Hitchens & Dennett have sold millions of books, created a debate that has inundated the web, spilled over into TV and radio. ALL kinds of "media". If this conspiracy you imagine actually existed why would this despised minority be allowed to become part of the public debate? Perhaps there is another reason why you and your friends on the "left" are "excluded" from public debate? Perhaps you are not willing to do the hard work required to be part of the public debate? Perhaps your feeling that access should be just handed to you is part of the problem? Prof Dawkins didn't wait to be invited. The system rewards those who invest the most in it.

2. ...the problems of our media are inherent in the nature of the media itself... What the hell does that mean? Astronomers know that the very worst time to look at the moon through a telecope is when it is full even though this is when the most light is being shed on it. Details are washed out by the glare. Better to view the moon during one of the other phases when light is shining at an angle. When that big ole media eye focuses on an issue it does the same thing. It washes out subtle and telling details. That's why the media so often seems so simple-minded. No cackling Fu Manchu conspiracy needed.

Lori asked

Let me ask you a question: It is said that William Randolph Hearst said "If it bleeds it leads" Meaning, the most sensational news gets the front page. Most people only read the headlines, if the read the newspaper at all. So, while all the wars get attention, stuff like government corruption and it's ilk get page 6 coverage, which means they don't get read by anyone save the total news geeks like myself. So, if information is paramount to making a good decision, and decisions are what "make" our government; who do we hold responsible for the lack of information?

I'm responsible for my life. If I'm not willing to read page 6 (or page 46) then that's my fault. The world doesn't owe me anything. I will say we have it a damn sight easier than our ancestors did. Too easy maybe. Democracy doesn't work on autopilot. It's hard work. The "left" fails mostly because they aren't willing to do the hard work. The "right" succeeds because they are. Frank might have a case if he lived in Iran.
“We must not always talk in the marketplace,” Hester Prynne said, “of what happens to us in the forest.”
-Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter

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FrankChurch
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Re: Justifiable War?

Postby FrankChurch » Tue Aug 18, 2009 5:44 pm

If you guys all notice, Ezra missed almost every point I made.

Let me type in caps so this guy understands, if he ever will--IT DOESNT MATTER WHAT WE FUCKING DO, THE MEDIA EXCLUDES US BECAUSE THEY WANT TO KEEP OUR VOICES FROM THE DEBATE!! How hard is this to grasp? There is so much evidence to back this up it makes the global warming argument seem more nuanced.

An editor at the Boston Globe told Noam Chomsky, "we will never NEVER review any of your books, or any book from the same publisher." How does hard work, whatever that means, combat that?

This is simple--in a democracy, there are certain ideas you have to know or you will be ignorant as to how the world works. They purposely exclude us. It doesn't matter how fucking hard we work. Actually, the left not only works hard, we die for the cause. Norman Finklestein and others lose tenure--they are forced to work menial jobs to make ends meet. How do they work any harder? They award tenure to the elites who are indoctrinated with the right ideas and beliefs.

I fucking dare you to tell Harlan that he doesn't work hard enough, he will punch you in the nose! Then why doesn't Harlan get on Tv? Why couldn't Harlan get in the New Yorker? Why can't Harlan get on CNN? Why doesn't his documentary do the same as a Michael Moore one? Is it because he doesn't work hard?

Why doesn't the symphony do as well as Miley Cyrus? Why isn't Wilco up there with U2, selling out stadiums? Do they work hard? This is idiotic.

There are corporate forces that keep certain ideas off the media, period. The culture works the same way. If it wasn't for donations the symphony and some Jazz would be killed. Don't tell me self righteously that black Americans haven't worked hard enough. Then why is racism so downplayed in the media? Media ignore the facts. It has nothing to do with working hard.

This is not a kids game, this is real life. The media uses our airwaves, they get tax breaks and laws passed in their favor. Yes, they do owe us airtime. We pay their bills. That's like saying certain people shouldn't be allowed in a public park. Bullshit.

Nothing personal, but this just pisses me off.

And you know why Hitchens is on tv, because he supports the war! He just got lucky with the atheism thing. Atheism doesn't undermine power interests like we do. Most corporations are not fond of religious fanatics. They want to do business with everybody. Don't forget an atheist got prayer banned from public schools. They know that atheists won't rock the applecart, especially since most Americans are solidly Christian. That won't change anytime soon.

I was having a good day.

Barber, give me a stick to bite down on? You know how much this denegrates people who have given their lives for the cause? I guess the Chicago Seven didn't work hard enough. Ahh.

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FrankChurch
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Re: Justifiable War?

Postby FrankChurch » Tue Aug 18, 2009 6:12 pm

"If we understand the mechanism and motives of the group mind, is it not possible to control and regiment the masses according to our will without their knowing about it? The recent practice of propaganda has proved that it is possible, at least up to a certain point and within certain limits."

"If you can influence the leaders, either with or without their conscious cooperation, you automatically influence the group which they sway".


Edward Bernays.

Noam Chomsky said in an interview:
"....the term "manufacturing consent" is not mine, I took it from Walter Lippmann, the leading public intellectual and leading media figure of the twentieth century, who thought it was a great idea. He said we should manufacture consent, that's the way democracies should work. There should be a small group of powerful people, and the rest of the population should be spectators, and you should force them to consent by controlling, regimenting their minds."

" We should dispense with the aspiration to 'be liked' or to be regarded as the repository of a high-minded international altruism. We should stop putting ourselves in the position of being our brothers' keeper and refrain from offering moral and ideological advice. We should cease to talk about vague — and for the Far East — unreal objectives such as human rights, the raising of the living standards, and democratization. The day is not far off when we are going to have to deal in straight power concepts. The less we are hampered by idealistic slogans, the better. "

George F. Kennan.

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Ezra Lb.
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Re: Justifiable War?

Postby Ezra Lb. » Wed Aug 19, 2009 10:38 am

I'll see your Noam Chomsky and raise you one Robert Anton Wilson-

These ideas can be made more concrete with a parable, which I borrow from John Fowles's wonderful novel, The Magus.

Conchis, the principle character in the novel, finds himself Mayor of his home town in Greece when the Nazi occupation begins. One day, three Communist partisans who recently killed some German soldiers are caught. The Nazi commandant gives Conchis, as Mayor, a choice — either Conchis will execute the three partisans himself to set an example of loyalty to the new regime, or the Nazis will execute every male in the town.

Should Conchis act as a collaborator with the Nazis and take on himself the direct guilt of killing three men? Or should he refuse and, by default, be responsible for the killing of over 300 men?

I often use this moral riddle to determine the degree to which people are hypnotized by Ideology. The totally hypnotized, of course, have an answer at once; they know beyond doubt what is correct, because they have memorized the Rule Book. It doesn't matter whose Rule Book they rely on — Ayn Rand's or Joan Baez's or the Pope's or Lenin's or Elephant Doody Comix — the hypnosis is indicated by lack of pause for thought, feeling and evaluation. The response is immediate because mechanical. Those who are not totally hypnotized — those who have some awareness of concrete events of sensory space-time, outside their heads — find the problem terrible and terrifying and admit they don't know any "correct" answer.

I don't know the "correct" answer either, and I doubt that there is one. The universe may not contain "right" and "wrong" answers to everything just because Ideologists want to have "right" and "wrong" answers in all cases, anymore than it provides hot and cold running water before humans start tinkering with it. I feel sure that, for those awakened from hypnosis, every hour of every day presents choices that are just as puzzling (although fortunately not as monstrous) as this parable. That is why it appears a terrible burden to be aware of who you are, where you are, and what is going on around you, and why most people would prefer to retreat into Ideology, abstraction, myth and self-hypnosis.

To come out of our heads, then, also means to come to our senses, literally — to live with awareness of the bottle of beer on the table and the bleeding body in the street. Without polemic intent, I think this involves waking from hypnosis in a very literal sense. Only one individual can do it at a time, and nobody else can do it for you. You have to do it all alone.



When you define the power elite as somebody else I regard that as a loser's script. I define the power elite as myself and my friends. And that's a winner's script. And the way to accomplish things is with a winner's script.


We should always try to have a reality-tunnel this week, bigger, funnier, and more hopeful than we had last week, and we should aim even higher next week. Besides, paranoia is a Loser script; it defines somebody else as being in charge around here except me. I prefer to define myself and my friends as the architects of the future. If David Rockefeller has the same idea about himself and his friends, well, the future itself will decide which coalition was really on the Evolutionary Wave: the Money people or the Idea people
“We must not always talk in the marketplace,” Hester Prynne said, “of what happens to us in the forest.”
-Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter

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David Loftus
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Re: Justifiable War?

Postby David Loftus » Wed Aug 19, 2009 10:42 am

The Magus.

The book that I wrote my Harvard undergraduate honors thesis about. The thesis that I got a little handwritten, complimentary note from Fowles about.

Cool.
War is, at first, the hope that one will be better off; next, the expectation that the other fellow will be worse off; then, the satisfaction that he isn't any better off; and, finally, the surprise at everyone's being worse off. - Karl Kraus

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FrankChurch
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Re: Justifiable War?

Postby FrankChurch » Wed Aug 19, 2009 1:09 pm

Ezra, are you sure you read the God delusion? I was looking at it and Dawkins mentions the fact that atheists are about as popular now as homosexuals were fifty years ago. That doesn't sound like he agrees with you that atheism is trending mainstream. He also mentions polls that talk about the fact that more Americans would vote for a homosexual than an atheist. I guess you darn atheists better get to work. ha.

Jews are about 1.3 percent of the population, while atheists are 14 percent, if not more. Jews have a lot more power in the culture than atheists. Better get working.

He also agrees that the 9/11 bombings were because of religion, not political grievances. Not according to polls of the middle east. Even moderate muslims blame our foreign policy on why the attacks happened. I would suspect many of the suicide bombers on that day were very hesitant to go through with it, Virgins with grapes or not. It's also odd that some of the attackers went to a strip club beforehand. Don't they know that Allah has many eyes?

----------------

Why is it you never mention Ingersoll? One of our great men. An atheist and led to early anarchism. Remember, most anarchists are atheists. I'm that lone wolf..lol

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FrankChurch
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Re: Justifiable War?

Postby FrankChurch » Wed Aug 19, 2009 6:33 pm

I forgot the most important point. Dissidents have always been hated by the elites--in the soviet system and here. The only difference is that the secret police will not haul you off. Dissidents here are a plague to received power. Powerful interests do not want their game plan shown. It makes complete sense. Never said it didn't. I also don't whine about it, but I understand it.

We have had plenty of success with activism. There would not have been a black candidate or female one in the last election without positive change from below. Media reform is the next thing to work on. We are working, but it is going on behind the scenes. It has to, because they will undermine it if we don't.

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Steve Evil
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Re: Justifiable War?

Postby Steve Evil » Wed Aug 19, 2009 7:52 pm

The Magus Wasn't there a movie based on that with Anthony Quinn?

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David Loftus
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Re: Justifiable War?

Postby David Loftus » Wed Aug 19, 2009 8:03 pm

Yes, with Michael Caine and young Candice Bergen.

I've never been privileged to see it, but by all accounts it was very, very bad. My thesis advisor said he saw Caine declare it was the worst movie he had ever been in, because "nobody knew what it was about!"

In one of his movies or other, Woody Allen also takes a swipe at the film. I can't remember the exact line, but it's something to do with, if he had his life to live over again, he wouldn't watch it.
War is, at first, the hope that one will be better off; next, the expectation that the other fellow will be worse off; then, the satisfaction that he isn't any better off; and, finally, the surprise at everyone's being worse off. - Karl Kraus


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