Wednesday, July 04, 2007


Henry Louis Mencken was an iconoclast. But sometimes he got it right.

Two Mencken quotes for this Fourth of July:
The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out for himself, without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos. Almost inevitably he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane and intolerable, and so, if he is romantic, he tries to change it. And even if he is not romantic personally he is very apt to spread discontent among those who are.
And, of course, this one:
Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit upon his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats.
Patriots question authority. Don't let any sycophant tell you otherwise.


Anonymous said...


God Bless America.

White Shadow

Anonymous said...

Yes, but true patriots question authority from an independent, informed opinion, not led by the nose by some de facto socialist, Islamo-fascist sympathizing bumper sticker ideology.

Anonymous said...

Man-o-man. I sure hope the anon above isn't using Sean Hannity as the basis for their independent, informed opinion.

Anonymous said...

The Dickerson Park Zoo is internationally known for its sycophant breeding program.

Busplunge said...

Is anyone else as outraged over the Libby business as I am?

This administration is running amok and why isn't congress stopping them?

Anonymous said...

No more outraged than I was about the Clinton's "fire sale" of pardons in his last days. Bush has had 4 pardons in six years, far below the Clinton years. Just four days ago Hillary said non-violent criminals should not be in jail. Now, she is having a cow over Libby (a non-violent conviction) being let out of jail. Purely political folks. And the conviction was too ...

Larry Burkum said...

So, anon908, you agree that what Bush did for Libby was wrong? And to clarify, you believe it was acceptable for Libby to lie under oath, but not for Bill Clinton?

Larry Burkum said...

And four more things, anon908: You say Libby's conviction was purely political. If true, then it is Republicans who were out to get Libby:

1. Attorney General John Ashcroft. Decided a special prosecutor was needed and then recused himself from the decision because of his proximity to the probable targets of the investigation.

2. James Comey. Yes, he's the darling of the Dems now because he spilled the beans about the hospital stand-off. But Comey is, dare we say it, a REPUBLICAN. And not just any Republican but a pretty tough law-and-order type who only months earlier had been appointed Deputy Attorney General by President Bush. He had it in for Scooter? He let his partisanship get in the way?

3. Patrick Fitzgerald. Again, a darling of the Dems now for obvious reasons. But anyone who knows the guy's history knows that while this registered independent may not lean ideologically right (in the way movement whacks might recognize) he certainly doesn't lean to the left. It's no accident that his appointments have come under Republicans.

4. Judge Reggie Walton. Let's start with this: He was appointed by George W. Bush. And if that doesn't do it for you, he was appointed to previous judicial appointments by Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.

[the above courtesy of Talking Points Memo]

Anonymous said...

Paris Hilton served harder time for a lesser offense than Scooter.

Hilton-Clinton 08:)

Anonymous said...

One-hundred forty-one. What is, the number of pardons granted by Pres. Bill Clinton during his final hours in offic? Arkansas jeopardy!!!

Anonymous said...

I love how while reviled by Republicans, Bill Clinton is their ultimate justification for bad governance. It holds true with same reasoning that allows them to condone torture because
"the evil-do-ers" do it.

You people suck. And your going to have your ass handed to you in 08.

72% of the country

Anonymous said...

by the way Busplunge, I am super-pissed as well about Libby. What a sham.

Anonymous said...

The only reason Clinton wasn't convicted of perjury is because he entered into a plea arrangement. It allowed him to pay a $25,000 fine and lose his Arkansas Law license AND he would be off the hook.

You know you guys, Libby didn't leak Plame's name to Novack to start with, it was Armitage who did that.

Besides, truth be known her job at the CIA was probably on the sale level as a greeter at Wal-Mart.

Anonymous said...

OR as a WMD specialist for the CIA.
You twit. Obviously your grasp on the world is a little loose. Has it ever occurred to you people that what they did was wrong, just plain wrong?
How far will you let yourselves go
to keep from facing the facts that your overzealousness to go to war was wrong. Further your vilification and denial of fact has caused you to do whatever it takes to move the focus on to anything you can to put blame onto someone else i.e. democrats. Who I may point out had no power at all for 6 years.

So here is reality knocking. You all are the ones to blame. You bought the lie, you supported it. And it will come home to roust for you. You who are so self righteous in your support of the military, you have broken it.

You who are so wrapped up in a culture of life are responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands.

What will you have to say for yourselves at the gates of heaven?
"Don't blame us Bill Clinton got a blow job."?

Anonymous said...

Bitch, bitch, bitch. Both sides bitch and bitch. But which of you are working for change? And I don't mean a change in chief executives or party. I mean, if you don't like presidents pardoning people for their crimes - Clinton, Bush and all those before them -, work to change that given right through our Democratic form of government.

Initially, presidents were given the power to pardon as a check on the judiciary. All have taken advantage. Additionally, the Governor of Illinois pardoned those on death row in his state from execution. He didn't feel the judiciary was doing its job.

Work for change if you don't like it. Work for change in times when your party isn't in power. Work for change for the common good if you feel this or any other right is being taken advantage of or is unfair. But above all, stop bitching! Do something about it! We have all that is necessary in place to make those changes.

Anonymous said...

Well that is a fair argument.

anon 1:52

Anonymous said...

Sure we can not even have "real" elections in Springfield

Anonymous said...

Attica! Attica!

Anonymous said...


I'm just wondering what the quote by H.L. Mencken meant.

"Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit upon his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats."

Hope someone can explain it to me.. Thanks so much :)

Anonymous said...

black flag
The symbol of anarchism. When the flag is diagonally divided into black and red sections, it is a symbol of anarcho-syndicalism.
Burn all nations and governments and hoist the black flag on the pole.
get this def on a mug Mug

France: Anarchism and the origin of the black flag

Last modified: 2006-03-25 by ivan sache
Keywords: anarchism | black flag |
Links: FOTW homepage | search | disclaimer and copyright | write us | mirrors

* The origin of the black flag

See also:

* France
* France: Political flags
* Anarchism

The origin of the black flag

In France, the first report of the use of a black flag as a sign of protest is dated from the beginning of 1831: road workers raised the black flag in Reims (Champagne) as a sign of misery and distress.
On 21 November 1831, the silk workers from the borough of La Croix-Rousse in Lyon broke out in revolt. After the National Guard had killed some workers, the city broke out in insurrection, barricades were set up in the streets and the insurgents raised the black flag with the writing Vivre en travaillant ou mourir en combattant (To live at work or to die at fight). The insurrection was suppressed a few days later, as was a second insurrection in 1834. The revolt remained known as the révolte des canuts, from the local name of the silk workers. The songwriter Aristide Bruant (1851-1925) wrote a famous protest song called Les Canuts.

On 18 March 1882, Louise Michel called for the adoption of the black flags by the anarchists during a meeting hold salle Favie in Paris. She wanted to dissociate the anarchists from the parliamentary and authoritarianist Socialists:

Plus de drapeau rouge, mouillé du sang de nos soldats. J'arborerai le drapeau noir, portant le deuil de nos morts et de nos illusions.
(No more red flag, shed with the blood of our soldiers. I will hoist the black flag, going in mourning for our dead and our illusions.)

One year later, on 9 March 1883, a demonstration of sans-travail (unemployed) took place near Hôtel des Invalides in Paris. The demonstrators were dispersed by police but could march, however. Louise Michel marched with a black underskirt fixed on the top of a broomstick. Several bakeries were looted. Louise Michel was arrested and sentenced to six years of jail for excitation au pillage (incitement to looting).

On 12 August 1883, the first issue of the newspaper Le Drapeau Noir (The Black Flag) was published in Lyon. The newspaper was repressed and disappeared after 17 issues. The first issue said:

[...] c'est sur les hauteurs de la ville de la Croix-Rousse et à Vaise que les travailleurs, poussés par la faim, arborèrent pour la première fois ce signe de deuil et de vengeance, et en firent ainsi l'emblème des revendications sociales [...]
([...] On the heights of the city [of Lyon] in la Croix-Rousse and Vaise, workers, pushed by hunger, raised for the first time this sign of mourning and revenge [the black flag], and made therefore of it the emblem of workers' demands [...])

Source: Ephémeride anarchiste

The poet and singer Léo Ferré (1916-1993) wrote in his song Les Anarchistes:

Y en a pas un sur cent / There are less than one out of hundred
Et pourtant ils existent / However, they do exist
Ils ont un drapeau noir / They have a black flag
En berne sur l'Espoir / Half-masted for Hope
Et la mélancolie / And melancholy
Pour traîner dans la vie / To roam the life
Des couteaux pour trancher / Knives to cut
Le pain de l'Amitié / The bread of Friendship
Et des armes rouillés / And rusted weapons
Pour ne pas oublier / To never forget
Les Anarchistes / The Anarchists

Ferré performed this song live for the first time on 10 May 1968 in the Mutualité in Paris, in the heart of the May 1968 insurrection.

Source: Robert Belleret - Léo Ferré Une vie d'artiste - Actes Sud / Leméac, 1996.

Ivan Sache, 11 March 2004

Anonymous said...

You stupid fuck, regardless of what the French or Wikipedia said about the black flag, Mencken references it in the meaning it had for naval warfare. When the black flag was raised before a conflict with pirates or anyone else, it was the same as when the Mexican army blew the Garrotillio on their horns. It signified that no quarter would be given, no prisoners would be taken. It was a fight to the death. Thus the statement about slitting throats. Here Mencken is skewering the rational and moralist-religious people who would never admit to such a level of frustration with their fellow man.