Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Alice Cooper making sense

Alice Cooper: If you are listening to a rock star in order to get your voting information on who to vote for, you are a bigger moron than they are. Why are we rock stars? Because we're morons.

It's true what I said, that most of us dropped out of school to chase girls, drink beer, and play rock 'n' roll, and don't read the Washington Journal (which, by the way, doesn't even exist, so you see how much I know).

That doesn't mean we don't have opinions, and it doesn't mean we don't care about our country, or what's going on in the world. It just means I don't think our opinions should matter to anyone else.

C'mon, Alice! Don't you know that the times they are a-changin? Today rock & roll isn't about independence or rebellion; it's about groupthink, peer dependence and blindly following know-nothing idols. How else is it that all the kids who are "doing their own thing" look and act and think and sound like all the other kids who are doing their own thing?

Monday, August 30, 2004

Kerry, Swiftees and misguided legislation

Since I can't get my own comments to post... (on my own blog-- how embarrassing!)

Anonymous said...

"Actually, Kerry's lawsuit is in regards to their connections to the Bush campaign. While, I'm sure everyone is for free speech, the Not-so-Swift Vets must be independent of the Bush campaign. So far there are 4 people that share a common connection between the Swifties and the Bush campaign. If true, it would be illegal."

That's my point though. A connection is alleged, and that allegation is sufficient (in Kerry's mind anyway) to silence the SwiftVets. If this works, anyone can be silenced on an allegation, because you don't need the law on your side, just a sympathetic judge.

"Oh and one more thing, Bush now wants to get rid of all 527's. Something he could've done by not signing the bill that was put in front of him. Flip flop? I'll leave that to you to decide."

Yes, I'd say a flip-flop. Maybe Bush and Kerry can open an IHOP frnachise together (Teresa can provide the condiments).

This would have been much simpler if the Republicans and Democrats in DC took the Constitution seriously and had never passed McCain-Feingold.

"Other than that, I like your website, you seem real level-headed. Later man...."

Thanks for the compliment!

Update: maybe pride just slows the learning process

LA Times: (via Instapundit)

"The hostage ordeal has hit France hard. It is a gloomy rebuttal of the theory held by some-though not by most French government officials or those knowledgeable about Islam-that France's anti-war, pro-Arab policies had inoculated the country against such aggressions."

Seems I was ahead of the curve. Maybe I do have a future in the blogosphere.

Too sophisticated to learn

Islamic fascists target surrender monkeys.

The French should have learned from the 1930s: appeasement of fascists does not result in peace, love or understanding. It invites further aggression. The journalists are to be pitied, but the French brought this on themselves.

This also puts the lie to the notion that Islamic fascism is the response of the poor and oppressed to Western or Israeli imperialism. This is not about oil, support for corrupt regimes, Palestinians or any other Middle Eastern grievance. This is about fascists trying to dictate French internal affairs, and why? Because they believe that they can.

It worked with the Spanish too. Will it work for Americans in November? Time will tell.

Sunday, August 29, 2004

Internet Turns 35

Happy Birthday, Internet!

The most revolutionary change in communication since Gutenberg's printing press turns 35. The printing press touched off revolutions in society, as the spread of knowledge was no longer slowed by the speed of handwriting or subject to the control of gatekeepers. The printing press empowered the masses in a historically unprecedented manner.

The Internet is the next quantum leap, as communication is instant and avaliable to all. Not many have the means to buy their own printing press, but access to the World Wide Web for a month costs the same as a pizza. Just as some were becoming uneasy over the concentration of printed media outlets into fewer and fewer hands, now anyone can share with the world their thoughts on a given topic or publish news that the major media outlets ignored for whatever reason. And as this article shows, the media elite is now reaching apoplexy over the blogosphere. Their judicious decision-making on what is fit to print is completely obsolete as information is now instantly posted to the Web without so much as a by your leave. I feel kind of sorry for this ancien regime; like the French Royalty they are being swept along by a tide they can't comprehend.

The one thing to guard against is attempts, by governments or that unelected, unaccountable wanna-be world government called the UN, to regulate free communication on the Web. If such attempts get serious, it will surely be cast in terms of protecting the public from some menace, rather than curtailing the uppety masses. Or maybe it could be something as simple as a future media conglomorate buying up all the bandwidth and implementing filters of some sort. In any event, the Web is a tremendous blessing and resource, and should be guarded jealously and unconditionally by all who believe in free expression.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Under false colors, or just a chameleon?

From Belmont Club: "But the Democratic Party decided to package this man, who was decent on his own terms, in the most dishonest possible way: to use his Vietnam service to deodorize the monstrous fraud at the heart of their own platform. Kerry's problems with Swiftvets are not because his credentials as a warrior are insufficient. Rather they are because no credentials are sufficient to foist this bait-and-switch on the American electorate without exciting adverse comment.

If any proof were needed that the Sixties were dead, the subterfuge of the Democratic Party would be Exhibit A. Instead of running under their own colors, or barring that, changing them, they have decided to sail beneath a false flag, as if under a cloud of shame. "

It wouldn't be the first time in recent history that the American electorate let itself be fooled. When candidate Bill Clinton said that he had tried marijuana but didn't inhale --a lie with a nod and a wink-- and sufficient numbers of people regarded it as inconsequential and voted for him anyway, the result was eight years of corruption, cynicism and scandal. In simple terms, honesty matters. Even today there are those who can't understand why all the opposition to Clinton. Perhaps the divide is between the modernists and the postmodernists. If so, 9-11 is a powerful reminder that objective reality exists and we pretend otherwise at our peril. This is a subtext to the more obvious point that we are at war.

Mort Kondracke said that Kerry is a man without a core. If he does have a core, he hasn't shown it yet. If the events of the last 3 years haven't been adequate reason for Kerry to show one, what would be?

Monday, August 23, 2004

Not quite burning the Reichstag, yet...

Utterly outrageous. John Kerry doesn't seem all that bothered by the attack dogs at MoveOn or by Moore the Mendacious, but he wants the FEC to silence the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, claiming they are coordinating with the Bush White House.

The SwiftVets are saying that Kerry is unfit to be Commander in Chief. His response is to attempt to use the machinery of government to silence his critics. It's just as many had feared: McCain-Feingold would not reform the election process, but it would abridge freedom of speech.

In this instance. what everyone ought to ask themself is: If candidate Kerry doesn't hesitate to use the coercive power of the state to silence his critics, then to what extent would President Kerry be willing to go in that regard? Three and a half years into a Kerry presidency, how could anyone criticize the man or his policies without being called a Republican front group and shut down on that basis? Who would complain of such an arrangement, without being silenced themselves merely for calling attention to it?

True, this is just about fining the SwiftVets initially, but a lawsuit can follow. The problem is not the degree of the threat to free expression but the nature of it: government alone may decide if government has overstepped the bounds of the Constitution and ceased to be accountable to the people. The people may petition the government for redress of grievances... as long as the Federal Elections Commission doesn't deem them politically affiliated. One given to cynicism might even evision a future president deliberately precipitating a Constitutional crisis in the executive branch merely to draw out the political opposition and put them down.

Now I am neither a lawyer nor a Constitutional expert. What it looks like to this layman, bottom line, is that John Kerry wants to use political affiliation --real or imagined-- to be the criterion of who may speak in an election season. His pledge to uphold and defend the Constitution would be nuanced, to be sure.

Wherefore art thou blogging?

Sorry, I am in an undisclosed location.

Actually, the fact that I'm blogging can be blamed on uber-blogger Glenn Reynolds. I was surprised that he didn't make a point I thought someone ought to make, especially him given his legal background and all-around sense of decency. I emailed him without response (hey, he's a busy guy). What was bugging me so bad will be in my next post.

First, a word of explanation on what I think I'm doing here. I plan to comment mostly on politics and culture, but time does not permit me to post as often as Instapundit or in longer, well-written and well-thought-out essays like Belmont Club. Comments will likely be a bit more sporatic and off-the-cuff. My short attention span is the result of a diversity of interests coupled with time constraints. Shoot, I might get bored with blogging inside a week.