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June 20, 2006


I've always liked that quote, although I seem always to have misattributed it. Thanks for the full cite, von.

"ONCE AGAIN, the time has come for an open thread."

What, every other post?

I kinda think that it would have been better back a few weeks ago, when there were no open threads for two weeks at a time, rather than have one with only one other post between it and the last one, and that only four after the last one. That makes three open threads total on the sidebar now, and already people have been clearly indecisive about where to post.

But, hey, your blog.

Well, you know, a reading of the entire book may show that Athens were the bad guys, and the speech not a listing of virtues, but of vices. Thucydides was a very conservative writer. Or maybe the larger point, helped by Xenophon's & Herodotus work on Sparta, is that those Greeks were free: That human nature is terrifyingly malleable clay.

Sparta has gotten a bad rap, and is no longer as favored as it was even 200 years ago. The book, the story, the tragedy and Glory of Greece is what inspired and terrified the founders, that made them fear democracy.

I am too tired for this argument.
Why am I up at 4 AM? Cause I was clicking around and TCM were showing their documentaries on Clara Bow and Louise Brooks back to back. Nuff said?

That man over there say
   a woman needs to be helped into carriages
and lifted over ditches
   and to have the best place everywhere.
Nobody ever helped me into carriages
  or over mud puddles
    or gives me a best place. . .

And ain't I a woman?
   Look at me
Look at my arm!
   I have plowed and planted
and gathered into barns
   and no man could head me. . .
And ain't I a woman?
   I could work as much
and eat as much as a man--
   when I could get to it--
and bear the lash as well
   and ain't I a woman?
I have born 13 children
     and seen most all sold into slavery
and when I cried out a mother's grief
     none but Jesus heard me. . .
and ain't I a woman?
     that little man in black there say
a woman can't have as much rights as a man
     cause Christ wasn't a woman
Where did your Christ come from?
     From God and a woman!
Man had nothing to do with him!
     If the first woman God ever made
was strong enough to turn the world
     upside down, all alone
together women ought to be able to turn it
     rightside up again.

Well, it's an open thread, why not cite one of your homegrown great orators?

why not cite one of your homegrown great orators?

because there aren't any, in any of the towns i call 'home'.

about the best i can do is Dave LaPoint (baseball player): "I don't know how anyone can put on a uniform and not care about winning."

or (composer, producer) Teo Macero: "So he [Miles Davis] sends me the tape, I listen to it, and I say, "Oh yeah, maybe we can stick that in here." And there were a lot of times in my career with Miles that I would do that. Put the cassette right from the stage into the Master tape. And we did a lot of electronic effects when we did Sketches of Spain. I mean if you listen to it very carefully you'll hear that in one spot on the record the band comes up center and splits, goes around and comes up again. We had all kinds of boxes and one engineer would be monitoring one box and I'll be monitoring the other to make this effect. I mean not many people really have heard that record the way it should be. But they've put it back out again. CBS and the Miles Davis collection. And it's not the same. I mean there was a wealth of love to make this music boil."

gary, why so sour?

Jes, loved your poem. Great prose often reads like poetry. This one does.

Seb, a great oration. Think before acting - what a novel thought!


oh, and cleek, very insightful. I wonder how often we get to claim our "greats"? Like you, I don't know of any great orators or quotable writers from the places I call home.

On the other hand, I live in OKC. Can I claim Will Rogers? If so,

"But who cares about all that? Say did you know they arrested a Girl here in Hollywood the other day? She was driving down our main thoroughfare with nothing on but a heavy tan, not a stich. A Modern Lady Godiva. She dident even have the advantage of long hair. You remember the old original over in Coventry England, (by the way I played there in Vaudeville, many years ago, it tain't far from Shakespeare's old stomping ground,) well that Lady had a horse, and she had a mane longer than the horse's. But this one here the other day had traded her "Cayuse" for a Chevrolet Roadster, and her hair was short. Course this is all from heresay. I would miss it."


Gary, don't complain. Over at the Atrios place the threadbot frequently goes out of control. Yesterday there were 20 open threads posted in 4 minutes. Not that I ever look at any of them.

I'll claim William Saroyan for my home, though he's a writer rather than an orator.

"The greatest happiness you can have is knowing that you do not necessarily require happiness. from My Heart's in the Highlands

why not cite one of your homegrown great orators?

because there aren't any, in any of the towns i call 'home'.

Well, Sojourner Truth is from my home town, or close enough. Not that we treated her well at the time, and not that she wanted to stay, but she's got a monument now on the court house lawn. For what it's worth.

Thanks, Jes.

so.. how bout that Suskind book.. ?

anyone else proud to know our President would order someone to be tortured in order to 'save face' ?

anyone else think that revelation kinda knocks the moral knees out from anyone who would complain about how wrong it was that the Iraqi insurgents tortured those two soldiers of our's ?

just asking...

no, cleek, it was still wrong. Torture is torture. Because our opponents do it is not justification for us to also torture, but neither is it for them.

Nor is it accurate to say that OUR actions prompted theirs. It may be accurate to say that we gave them added justifying power. If so, it was for actions already intended.

It does illustrate how little there is to choose between evils.


Because our opponents do it is not justification for us to also torture, but neither is it for them.

of course - to all of your points.

my snark was tragically misphrased.

"It does illustrate how little there is to choose between evils."

What, my choice is bin Laden or Bush? Just shoot me.

Jesurgislac, is so cool.

God did not create the people slaves to their prince, to obey his commands, whether right or wrong, but rather the prince for the sake of the subjects (without which he could be no prince), to govern them according to equity, to love and support them as a father his children or a shepherd his flock, and even at the hazard of life to defend and preserve them. And when he does not behave thus, but, on the contrary, oppresses them, seeking opportunities to infringe their ancient customs and privileges, exacting from them slavish compliance, then he is no longer a prince, but a tyrant, and the subjects are to consider him in no other view. And particularly when this is done deliberately, unauthorized by the states, they may not only disallow his authority, but legally proceed to the choice of another prince for their defense. This is the only method left for subjects whose humble petitions and remonstrances could never soften their prince or dissuade him from his tyrannical proceedings; and this is what the law of nature dictates for the defense of liberty, which we ought to transmit to posterity, even at the hazard of our lives.

Dutch declaration of independence, 1581

1. "Our city is thrown open to the world"--love this line, and somehow never noticed it before.

2. I noticed the Zubaydah thing, of course.

I'm trying to be a little cautious; accounts of these things tend to differ. But it seems like he has multiple sources, at least one of them named.

What's horrible is that the Zubaydah interrogations have been the source of so many allegations and arrests. He is named as the source of information about: Jose Padilla & the "dirty bomb plot"; Benyam Mohamed, Padilla's supposed accomplice, who was sent to Morocco (where he claims they sliced his genitals with a razor) & then to CIA custody; the Yemeni prisoner who just killed himself at GTMO; and far more others than I can name.

The false positives that torture produces, when combined with our willingness to "render" people or detain them indefinitely without charge--it's not likely torture and indefinite detention based on crap evidence aren't bad on their own but when you combine them you get something truly special.

3. I don't know how much our policies contributed to those poor kids' deaths--maybe not that much. Al Qaeda is Mesopotamia, or whoever that is, tortured a lot of people. But (and I know this is beyond obvious to everyone here) it's not wrong because they're Americans, it's wrong because they're human. And we have no hope of convincing the world that it's wrong to torture American soldiers unless we take the position that it's wrong to torture anyone.

ending italics. sorry.

Regendering">http://obsidianwings.blogs.com/obsidian_wings/2006/06/for_we_have_a_p.html">Regendering quietly in the corner...

...and ain't I a man?
I have born 13 children...


Recently I was arguing the whole torture issue and was compared with hilzoy. I offered my thanks, but offered that hilzoy and I differ in so many key areas that the comparison was meaningless.

I was also compared with atrios and kos, which evoked a very different sort of response from me.

"And when I cried out a father's grief none but Jessica heard me"...

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