April 16, 2007

Right Wing Reaction to Today's VT Shootings

Story first breaks: It was obviously muslims!

News that the second shootings happened in an engineering building: Probably a Pakistani muslim!

News that the shooter was likely asian: Pakistan is in Asia, and China has lots of muslims! Also, why aren't they calling him an oriental?*

News that the shooter has not been identified, due to his lack of ID and (apparent) wound: Pakistani/Chinese muslim who has been through terrorist camps. AND THE MSM IS COVERING FOR HIM OMG!!!!

These people are despicable.

* Because most of us didn't parachute in from 1940, you jackass.

March 10, 2007

Dave Kopel: Respect Your Glib Betters!

Dave Kopel, who writes a bi-weekly column in the Rocky Mountain News about media coverage churns out a real dud this week. Rather than pointing out flaws (real or perceived) in the media's news coverage he takes opinion columnist Paul Campos to task, ostensibly for using Coulteresque style bombast to get noticed. His real purpose of the column is to defend his friends in the blogosphere. Apparently, the opinion pages of a major daily newspaper are now vehicles for blogospheric navel gazing. Oh boy.

Let's start from the top:

They seem like opposites: she's tall, blond and right-wing; he's short, balding and left-wing. Yet both are extremely intelligent weekly columnists with a gift for turning a clever phrase. They attended the University of Michigan Law School together, where he apparently developed a lifelong hatred of her. Enmity notwithstanding, he lately seems to be modeling his own style after hers. The more I read Paul Campos, the more he reminds me of Ann Coulter.

Okay, I have no real problem with his opening paragraph aside from a pet peeve: Why do people keep saying that Ann Coulter is "extremely intelligent" or "brilliant"? Seriously. Even a number of conservatives who tut-tut her when she does something stupid will usually explain how much they love her legal mind.

Why? Aside from churning out books filled with lies, distortions and half-truths, she writes a weekly column which is almost entirely substance free demonization of "libruhls". Does someone have any scholarly writings of hers? Court cases she successfully argued?

One of Coulter's tricks is insulting upward. That is, pick somebody more famous than you. Vilify the person in some outrageous way. Ideally, the target gets upset and responds, and the press covers your public argument. By engaging in a public fight with you, the target has implicitly raised you to his own level of importance.
For example, on Friday afternoon, March 2, Coulter spoke at the Conservative Political Action Conference, the most important annual conference for conservatives, held in Washington. She used the word "faggot" in connection with John Edwards. Predictably, the Edwards campaign and the Democratic establishment pitched a fit, garnering Coulter more attention.

Okay, first of all. Of course you want to insult upward. Why would Ann Coulter devote time to bashing the Fort Wayne State Campus Democrats? If you use your forum to trash people who are less famous than you, you are being a bully.

Besides that, what does fame have to do with it? Does Kopel think that people who are important people are to be immune from criticism from people with less "fame"? I am quite sure that he doesn't, as his day job is at the Independence Institute where he and a team research public policy issues so that President Jon Caldara can use them in debates. Surely Caldara is less famous than former governor of Colorado Bill Owens, or current governor Bill Ritter. Yet Caldara, who apparently bases his puplic persona on one of the heathens in a Chick Tract has absolutely no problem attacking these two (Nor should he by the way).

So why is Kopel upset? Because Campos blasted his friends.

The next day, Campos, in a move straight out of the Coulter playbook, spoke to a local meeting of the Young Democrats in Denver. Four times he called Coulter a four-letter word (which this newspaper won't print). The word refers to female genitalia, and it rhymes with "lame publicity stunt." For his Rocky column last Tuesday, Campos condensed his speech.
Of course this is the first I've heard of it, and without seeing a transcript or an audio file, I can't comment on the context or appropriateness. Of course, Kopel provides no links or even family friendly quotes, so apparently we are just supposed to be shocked SHOCKED to hear that Campos said "cunt".

here it is. Notice that Campos says that it is a horrible thing to do. Never mind that, though. Dave Kopel just wants to be able to make the claim that "OMG Liebruhlz are teh misogynists!!!11!" No context, no debate. Just an attempt to get the mouth breathers all enraged at Campos for being so darn uncivil.

Like Coulter, Campos employed lawyerly verbal formulations in which he technically claimed that he was not directing his gutter language at his obvious target.
Unfortunately for Campos, Coulter - a wily veteran of the publicity game - ignored his vulgarity.

Does Kopel have any proof that Coulter has even heard about this. I don't find it likely, since the only reference I can find is from Roy Edroso commenting on this very same Kopel column. By the same token, I am proud that I haven't responded to Glenn Reynolds' threat to disembowel me, nor will I. I'm just classy and well versed in the PR game, I guess.

His column also insulted upward at University of Wisconsin law professor Ann Althouse (bizarrely claiming that she is part of a conspiracy to protect Coulter). Althouse is far more famous than Campos on the Web and in academia; her record of scholarly publications in law journals is significantly larger than his. She responded to Campos on her blog, thus giving him more publicity.

Ann Althouse play the victim card? No way. As to whether she is a more respected legal scholar than Campos, I'll let this claim stand as IANAL nor am I a law professor. However, Campos is not attempting to debate legal minutia with Althouse, he is attempting to debate public policy. This just happens to be lawyers arguing with other lawyers about what a lawyer said at a political conference. Scholarly credentials have NOTHING TO DO WITH THIS. If I were to get in a debate over legal theory with Althouse, I would probably lose. That doesn't mean that Althouse isn't spectacularly dim regarding nearly every other opinion she has, nor do I need to be a lawyer to prove this.

A couple of weeks ago, Campos also successfully insulted upward when he accused University of Tennessee law professor Glenn Reynolds of advocating murder, and urged that the school censor Reynolds. Reynolds too has a vastly larger record of scholarly publication than Campos, and Reynolds' Web log, InstaPundit, is the most influential in the world (based on incoming links statistics at truthlaidbear.com).

I think Campos was a little bit hard on the nutty professor, but It's about time that someone pointed out the truth, which is that Reynolds is not a moderate, nor a libertarian. He is an authoritarian cultist and again, assuming he has the legal credentials that Kopel claims, a spectacularly shallow thinker about everything else under the sun. Also, Kopel is claiming that Reynolds is influential because he gets a lot of links and a lot of page views. Wrong. It means that a lot of people read him. No more. Is Anna Nicole Smith the most influential celebrity in America? The news can't stop talking about her after all? I guess it also follows that Howard K. Stern is the most influential attorney in the US. I mean way more people are talking about him than Glenn Reynolds


Both writers make outlandish claims about other people. She insists that for the last 50 years, nearly all liberals have been on the side of treason. He compares Glenn Reynolds (who is a libertarian) and national radio host/blogger Hugh Hewitt (a mainstream Republican) to "fascists." (Disclosure: I attended Michigan Law School with Hewitt, and have co-written articles with Reynolds.)

Stop it. This is where the right wing noise machine does its damage. Repeated lies become truth from paragraphs like this. Reynolds is not a libertarian and he and Kopel and shout it to the heavens, but it still ain't so. Reynolds believes that the media should be a propaganda arm for the military and that anti-war positions are borderline treason. There is a reason that you can Google "Glennuendo", Kopel, and it isn't Bush Derangement Syndrome.

And Hewitt is a fascist, and a hack and a complete and utter joke. Calling him sensible just doesn't make it so. Kopel just wants to sit at the cool kids lunch table and hopes that this is his ticket.

As an aside, I know that Kopel and Reynolds have published works together. I am impressed that Kopel kept Glenn focused enough to keep them about the second amendment, rather than how cool it would be to be a robot.

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June 13, 2004

Watering hotline?

It's news like this that makes me happy, in that I realize we are closer to monkeys than we typically acknowledge. It also makes me sad because we don't understand how dumb we are. Witness:
Given the ongoing drought, I think it would be great if the News
published a map of the metro area with all
of the water districts and the contract information to report abuse.
I often see midday water users
sending streams of water down the gutters, but have no idea how to report it.

Mike Lorang


Here's an idea. Do Your Own Fucking Dirty Work. If it happens in your neighborhood, call whoever sends you the water bill. If not, find a friend(or the local goverment office) to explain how their water system works. It's not going to be all that complicated.

Next, people like Mike Lorang will force all of our kids to wear Bike Helmets. Oh, wait....

April 17, 2004

Self Pity

Over at A Small Victory Michele is upset because of all the big media attention going to Wonkette. The best part is the commenters falling all over themselves to say that they've never heard of Wonkette, but they love Michele.

Turning the comments thread of a serious issue blog into an AOL chatroom for hard up men is one reason that the blogosphere isn't taken as seriously as it could be.

And yes, someone managed to shoehorn Iraq into the comments too.

April 05, 2004

Batting .500

Professor Bainbridge get this one exactly right.

Unfortunately he gets this one exactly wrong.

Apparently he sees Moltisanti as a "Two Americas" kind of guy. Apparently he also can't sleep because the clown's going to eat him.

April 04, 2004

I got a Need for Speed

High Speed Internet is finally working. Now with comcast email account. Blogging should be a lot more frequent now.

This is What I'm Talking About

Don't turn into Charles Johnson, Professor. You know damn well that this was a.) an aberration that has been denounced by plenty of people on the left, and b). An act that is equally as despicable as many things done by the overzealous right. You're a smart guy. Behave like it.

Just Knock It Off


Look, Kos Fucked up. He made a post that was poorly conceived, poorly written, and not well thought out. He compounded it by giving a Capazzola-esque half-explanation, and then decided to hide behind the persecution complex/haha! I'm getting hits cop out. He's also a blogger, and part of the reason that we are bloggers, not George Will or Paul Krugman is that we post half finished thoughts, rants and screeds when we feel like it. Sometimes we lose our temper, sometimes we post something that we slep on and looks foolish. Sometimes, we let emotions get the better of us. Unfortunately, these words will all exist in the ether, regardless of how badly we want to hide them, take them back or spin them.

That being said, I have no problem with anyone Mocking him, attacking him, challenging him, ridiculing him, delinking him, boycotting him, and so on. As I said, he fucked up, he deserves to reap what he sowed.

I'd really like to see the folks on the right who are going nuclear on him stop with the smug, self important "Denounce Kos, or you are Kos" horse shit. If you want to sit around a coffee shop and read Mayakovsky, then please do, but don't wave it around like you just found the piece of the puzzle that proves that the left is entirely composed of Saddam sympathizers.

We don't ask Kevin Drum or Jesse Taylor to write a loyalty oath before each post. Similarly, we shouldn't ask
John Cole, who I really respected once, but am now losing faith in, or Glenn Reynolds to start every post with, "David Duke sucks, but..."

Let me explain this one time for the cheap seats: Both sides Have Extremists. Quit Making The Discourse Worse. Otherwise You're No Better Than These Assholes.

And if you don't feel shame in being associated with these people, then you're part of the problem. The rest of you need to read Oxblog and Spinsanity and The Volokh Conspiracy (sans Bernstein, who's just really really boring).

Really. This isn't even a comprehensive list of Asshats, nor bloggers that need a swift kick. This is just a plea for everyone to go to bed wake up, then take a deep breath, then post.

Let the Good Times Roll

Kevin Drum and Mark Kleiman are both on fire of late. Just start at the top and keep reading until you can't read any more.

April 03, 2004

Why We Fight

Via the commenters at Calpund^H^H^H^Political Animal I found a link to a pretty damning report on the influence of the religious right outside of the Boobygate/Creationism sphere.

This article ties a lot of things up in a tidy little bow, and as much as I'd like my own personal biases to be right, I have to think that this is almost too damn convenient. I've seen most of this information before, as far as Straussian thought, and the desires of Robertson and the religious right. I've just never seen them thrown together like this. At first glance, it seems to really make sense, and I'm sure that there is some truth behind all of this.

I'm just sort of thinking that the truth is akin to the truthful part of Bill Clinton killing Vince Foster, i.e. Bill Clinton knew Vince Foster, Bill Clinton was ambitious, Vince Foster died, thus Vince Foster was killed because of Clinton's ambition.

It didn't follow then, and I'm not sure that it follows now. I think that there's some danger in taking this article at face value. I'll accept the characterizations of the evangelists (I remember Fundamentally Oral Bill), and I can even allow the characterization of Justice Scalia, but I cant see the Wolfowitzes and Perles of the world lining up behind this mode of thinking, neocon/Straussian or not.

My reasoning, such as it is, it's fairly simplistic. Even adopting Machiavellian model, you are talking about Jewish people putting themselves in complete league with the enemy. Yes I realize that people align themselves with the enemy of my enemy all the time. In situations like this however, where you have idealist neocons putting themselves in league with the Left Behind crowd, it's like a fireman giving gasoline cans to a pyro who swears that he doesn't feel like lighting fires. Right now, at least.

Of course, if this is all factually correct, I have a bit of egg on my face. If not, there is still a very real movement to destroy America as we know it. The right likes to frame this behind secular humanism and International ANSWER and such witticisms as the phrase "(c)rap music", but in truth there's a massive force from the right that would have us living in a theocracy no less harsh than those in the middle east, it's just couched behind Jesus, who we all understand and who roughly 90% of us believe in, rather than Mohammed, who we fear and don't understand for a multitude of reasons.

March 03, 2004

"Ashcroft has denied any antipathy toward calico cats"

Via Amanda Butler, I see that the latest issue of Vanity Fair has a profile of John Ashcroft. It's reasons such as this that keep me from wanting another four years of the Bush administration. Between the general creepiness of the Ashcrofts and Lotts of this world, the Luddite policy decisions and the truly Orwellian policy decisions they make, the question "at what cost?" Must be asked.

We are on a dangerous path here. The current argument from the right is that only the Bush Administration can keep us safe, because John Kerry would be spooning bin Laden or some such.

Even if we are willing to concede that the Republicans would better handle the war on terror, we have to wonder what concessions we can keep making because we are at "war". I for one have no interest in living in a really really safe totalitarian state, thank you very much.

February 24, 2004

And Lastly...

One more thing before I quit for the evening: What the fuck is wrong with the politicians that we elect in this state? Why do we consistently elect total sideshows or dull nobody's as our elected officials.

Isn't there anyone electable in this state who can be charismatic and passionate without being an utter nincompop?

Another Thing..

The gay marriage post brought to mind another issue. Would certain people on the right stop referring to everything they don't like as "Judicial Activism"? Just because you don't like it doesn't mean they made it up out of whole cloth.

Along the same line, quit complaining that judges aren't elected. They get appointed by the people we do elect. You have an issue with a judge? Find out how and when they were nominated to their position.

The last thing we need are judges running for re-election every four years. We'll just end up with worse backlogs in the judicial system, and politicians with a law degree who won't rule on anything controversial in an election year.

Gee, Did Bush Say Something Today?

The Libertarian/Centrist Republican/Hawk wing of the blogosphere is feeling pretty disillusioned by today's news (Lots of Posts, so just start at the top).

While I share their distaste for Bush coming out for the FMA, I can't share the outrage. Did anyone really believe that he would sit this one out? Look, Bush did a great job for the first two years of his administration keeping the party in line, and keeping moderates and the base fairly happy. But lately, the faith in him has been more reserved, or downright suspicious.

Look at Ron Suskind's book, the less than stellar SOTU address, a less than stellar employment rate, and the endless rancor over boobygate, and you see a pattern of conservative restlessness from all over the spectrum in regards to GWB.

He knew that his list of accomplishments weren't going to cut it, and he knew that people we're starting to grow a little cynical about "Tax Cuts, 9/11, Patriot-Act" as a visionary plan.

His only solution was to appeal to the base in a way that they would rally. He can't pretend fiscal discipline, so he goes for the gay issue. He knows that he'll piss people off, but he knows that it's divisive enough for Democrats to trip over for fear of losing the Soccer Mom/NASCAR Dad vote. He can throw the FMA out there and immediately appeal to the base, and he can use the judicial activism canard to hopefully score points with the more moderate types, many of whom think that gay sex is a little "icky", anyway.

Besides, a good number of the former Bush supporters will get over this by November and decide to hold their noses and vote for the man. John Kerry will get painted as the man who would like to see us killed by terrorists, while Bush will get portrayed as the only man who can protect us from certain death.

If the Democrats are stupid, they'll attack this as a civil rights issue (which it is, the problem is that way too many people don't believe it yet). They should tie this in with Roy Moore, and Bush's spending and the Patriot Act and TIA as over reaching, irresponsible nanny-state politics. Luckily, it's that as well.

For anyone who still wants to hold his or her nose and vote for Bush on the terror issue, pay attention to how far down the Liberty/Security axis you are willing to travel.

February 16, 2004

The Passion for Christ

Via Mark A. R. Kleiman I see that nearly 2/3 of Americans believe in the literal truth of the bible.

Mark rightly points out that this is not a god problem for the left, but it still remains a problem. How do you get these people to vote for a more heathenesque Democrat over President Bush?

If Bush likes to send messages to the base encoded in his speeches, then perhaps the left ought to do the same. Selling the future of our nation for thirty pieces of silver has a nice ring to it.

Check Mark's link for a nice archive of the current religious climate. Now I understand why Georgia School Boards can almost get away with pretend science curricula.

February 10, 2004


Sorry about not posting lately. I had a long post about why John Kerry is going to get pummelled because the Democrats do political sleaze so much worse than Karl Rove, but I couldn't quite get enough bite in it, so It's still being revised.

There has aslo been a family emergency that hasn't lent time to blogging. New kwality no later than this weekend.

January 27, 2004

OK, Seriously....

Fuck Capozzola. My whole goal was to talk about New Hamphire and other news, and then I see that this asshat is once again pulling the whole Mayakovsky "He who stands not with us today is against us" crap.

I'm not going to get in depth here, I'm just going to say it as it is. Jim, buddy, fuck you.

It's a sad day when I can point to Misha's defense of Atrios ahead of your agenda. I've always found you to be interesting and witty, and although I disagreed with you last time you gave an ultimatum, I kept reading because we all make a mistake or two.

Now you want to go through the same motions yet again because of something that Wonkette said?

Are you serious? It's not like Wonkettes a real human being, you know. It's part of the Gawker empire, and at best, it's meant to be infotainment, rather than a real deep spin or true policy wonkishness.

Look, I'm really sorry you lost your job, and I'm sorry you are looking to move out of Philadelphia, a city which you so clearly seem to love. I'm also sorry that Atrios pity on you did not lead to a more full tip jar. All in all, it seems that Karma has divined the precise reason that you cannot make a living as a pundit.

Atrios got sued, and kept blogging. Pandagon has had to deal with all kinds of script kiddies, yet they continue to write. You spend another day confusing your online persona with the real world and expect to get your propers. It clearly becomes more obvious why you lost you job, as well as why you can't get another.

In short: Go to hell. Get indignant about something that matters, not something that mildly bruises your ego for no reason other than that you apparently have a vested interest in MHO, even though the opposition isn't paying you, because otherwise you'd actually have less of an excuse to cry about your situation, and I have no desire to talk in run on sentence format.

In shorter: I'm thinking that there's a pretty legitimate reason that you are unemployable. Live and learn.

Yet more Local News, Only Not

I noticed that Vodkapundit has a wild guess that Edwards will be the eventual nominee. Having never really seen much of Edwards in depth until the last few weeks, and having read the comments over at Vodkapundit today, I have two basic theses upon which to draw.

1. I agree with Josh Marshall and James Carville. When you hear Edward speak, he's pretty compelling to hear. He's like Chinese food though. In the end I wind up feeling dissatisfied a couple of hours later.

2. Green's commenters really need to settle down. You'd think he'd just given his endorsement for messiah or something.

Update: Apparently Josh Marshall mentioned the Chinese food analogy first. My bad.

Quick Local News

Well, not Local News... More like local bloggers getting to write about things faster than I can, so I'll just write upon what they wrote...uh....upon. Via Gary Farber, and via Oxblog(it was a couple of days ago, and it's too late to search for the link. I see that apparently anti-Semitism is up in Europe. I hope that this is not true, although it does appear to be the case. Ha'aretz website didn't tell me anything about the poll other than what Gary mentioned, so I don't know whether or not the pollsters had a specific agenda on either side. The other evidence all paints a very bad picture, but this question, if it was phrased as I've seen:

Asked if Jews in their countries had a "mentality and lifestyle" different than other citizens, 46 percent said yes...

As I said, the other questions point to a very disturbing pattern, but if this is how this question was asked, then this is just horrible. I can get a bit literalist when answering questions like this, but I would answer this yes almost every time. Black people? Yes. Hispanics? Yes. Your best friends? Yes, I believe that they have a different mentality and lifestyle. Hell, I have a different mentality and lifestyle from my norms depending on the situation. My lifestyle on a Tuesday is not the same as my lifestyle on a Saturday. My mentality when I'm confident, happy and successful is far different from where my mentality would be if I were single, lonely, unemployed and homeless.

If this is the entirety of the question, then it was just a waste of time to ask it.

January 23, 2004

Local Flavor Part III

Apparenty our asinine "won't anyone think of the children" bill has been "weakened". If you read the story, note that the bill has been weakened by eliminating the provisions that fines accumulate for evey day that a vendor is not in compliance, not that the definition of indecent has been changed.

Keep in mind that I remember the days when Playboy was sold at the local gas station, but it was at the top of the rack, so that little kids couldn't reach it. These were also the same days where I could take a signed letter from my mom to the grocery store and buys her cigarettes, even though I wasn't 18. Odly enough, even with these wacky, wacky standards, I managed to grow up all by my own self without raping, killing or sodomizing any animal or person(without consent(the people, for the record)), thanks.

Just because the American Family Asociation types consider everything edgier than "Touched by an Angel" to be a danger to our moral fiber, doesn't mean that there's actually a problem. Show us that little kids are being sold Gallery Magazine and then we can talk.

Local Flavor II

The GOP led redistricting lost another round today.

While I think that the effort was deplorable, juvenile and pretty much contemptible. I think that they were legally right. As I understand it, the legislature is responsible for redistricting once every 10 years. Since the last redistricting was done by a judge (who did a very good job, by the way), they have every right to do it again.

That being said, I think that this is bad precedent, and sets the stage to make partisan politics become even more ridiculous. Eugene Volokh has an older post regarding a different issue entirely, but one that really hits the meat of the matter to my mind. Namely that the Republicans may be legally right to do this, but it doesn't make them ethically right.

Incidentally. This was the first blog post I ever read that made me sit back and think "Wow, that's exactly right."

Pointless butt-kissery aside, even though Eugene is talking about First amendment rights here, I think the general analogy translates. Sure the republicans have a legal case here, but the the true test of right and wrong is if they realize that it will do more harm than good to pursue it.

Local Flavor

I've been blogging quite a bit about national news lately, so today's updates will have a local flavor.

First up is a story that has been ongoing here in Colorado for a while. Essentially this entire cul-de-sac has been fighting over whether or not kids can play in the street. The residents have been calling the cops because it's technically illegal to play in the street. Now legislators are attempting to resolve the dispute. Why on earth has this become this big an issue? It's pretty damn sad that the state legislature has to be the group that determines common sense, especially when we come from a state that produces either incredibly bland or crazy politicians, that rarely accomplish anything.

Why can't we just get everyone to agree to the following:

1. Playing in the street, whether legal or not, is something that kids are going to do. Sometimes there's games that you want to play that can't be done in a driveway or a backyard. Keeping in mind that backyards nowadays are built roughly the size of a jewel case, and you're going to get situations where kids want to play street football or street hockey. They may even want to play kick the can if they've been in a coma since 1930.

2. Playing in a suburban cul-de-sac, while not as safe as, say, sitting on a couch covered in bubble wrap while wearing a helmet is not exactly the same as playing Russian roulette, sniffing glue, or running around with paint pens and tagging everything in sight.

3. Because you let your kids play on the street does not mean that they will turn out to be car thieves or hookers, nor does it make you bad parents.

4. Just because Douglas County is the whitest place on earth outside of Vermont, doesn't mean that you need to call the cops regarding every little issue that you may have. Police should get involved in situations where, you know, your life is in danger, or you come home to find that your house has been broken into, or your car stereo got ripped off, or your child has been kidnapped, or any number of situations where damage has been, or damage is imminent in regards to your life, liberty or property. NOT BECAUSE KIDS ARE PLAYING IN THE GODDAMN STREET!

5. Overall, on a scale of 1 to 10, with one being a child riding a tricycle while wearing a helmet, and 10 being a child trying to push crack in the Bronx at midnight after the Yankees blow game seven of the world series. These kids are at about a danger level of 2.

6. An entire neighborhood of adults who cannot attempt to resolve things in an adult manner are pretty much all complete cretins. Grow up.

In short. Somebody just needs to call a neighborhood meeting and give every homeowner there a swat to the back of the head.

January 20, 2004

Some Thoughts

Well, Bush certainly hit all the conservative buzzwords tonight. Talked about terrorism, NCLB, tax cuts and, um....Steroids? I'm a little surprised that he didn't talk about Mars or the personal savings accounts, and I'm even more surprised that he endorsed the FMA.

It was also a little more political in tone than I had expected to hear, in fact he was practically daring democrats to obstruct his new round of unfunded mandates.

Overall, he really hit the points that will win big points with the base and probably have the freepers all atwitter tonight, but I don't feel like I just saw him hit a home run tonight. The Democrats can take his thunder if they do it right, but can they? We shall see in the next few days.

PIzza's Here.

Back Later

Homeland Security

Heh. Some Democrats just applauded the expiration of the Patriot Act. Less applause from the right, than for the opening statement.

It looks at this point like the campaign is going to start off with "Only I can keep you safe."

He's just been introduced

Kennedy look like he's about to have a heart attack. The first partisan shot of the night is about Tax relief, followed closely by NCLB and medicare reform.

Now Kennedy just looks irritated. I guess the heart attack symptoms have gone by the wayside.

The State of the Union is "Confident and Strong".


Chalabi is sitting with Laura Bush. I'm not entirely sure that's a very smart decision.

Live SOTU Blogging!

At least until my pizza comes. Tom Ridge has a headset on. Also, his head is really, really large.

Now With Accountability!

He who can never come up with a very good handle (me), finally got around to geting an email address for this blog. Address is on the right under "Find Me".

More Campaign Coverage

After I'd already published the previous post. I realized that talking to candidates campaign managers must be one of the most boring things on the planet.

Of course Clark's campaign is going to say that they feel confident regardless of any resurgence in the Kerry campaign. What are they supposed to say?

"Well Wolf, of course we're worried that both the Kerry and Edwards campaigns are showing signs of life. Couple that with the fact that we're running against the former governor of Vermont and a senator from Massachusetts in NEW FREAKIN ENGLAND no less! We're really praying that Maureen Dowd has a bad experience with a bottle of ketchup in the next few days."

Also I just saw that Gephardt had Michael Bolton as entertainment at his campaign headquarters. For that alone he should have been forced out of the race and quite possibly forced to stump for the eventual nominee in Point Barrow, Alaska during the entire month of October.

January 19, 2004

Oh Iowa, Our Home and Native.....

The results are in. (Link via Daniel Drezner, by way of Atrios) I really don't have much to say at this point because well, it doesn't as a whole mean all that much.

Some friends of mine who are John Edwards fans were very happy (as they should be), but I cautioned them to remember that John McCain won the Iowa Caucus in 2000. There's still New Hampshire and South Carolina to go before awe can really even speculate on who the Democratic will be.

I do wonder if, in what is likely Gephardt's final presidential campaign, that he is at least a little humiliated that he could only outlast Carol Moseley Braun, but on the upside, his departure has guaranteed the eventual nominee the highly coveted Matthew Yglesias vote.

Also, Josh Marshall reports that Clark HQ isn't really worried about any momentum that Kerry has built.

January 15, 2004


I try not to spend too much time just being snarky for snarks sake, but this is just the weirdest fucking thing I've read in a long, long time.

...Those who are opposed to space exploration are petty, small-minded, and unable to see the future that is right before their eyes. Travel into space is more than a mere dream, it is a key element of the further advancement of humanity. We live in a system of planets, all of which are ours- even Europa, despite what some might say...

Look. I've been a big fan of space exploration. I remember as a kid first getting interested in reading the paper when Voyager I began sending images back to the NASA. I remember that I always got excited to see the newest edition of Astronomy texts to see what new information we had learned about our outer planets, and I certainly feel that NASA has a role, even when others argue about the inherent dangers and ROI. Still. I'm guessing the Europa comment is some kind of EU crack, or apparently the Romulans are moving in on our territory.

...More to the point, space is the key to the American future. Whoever owns the stars will be the master of all humanity. No other nation, no other civilization, or other race can be allowed to take his honor. Space must be American just as Virginia or Colorado is American. It is our collective destiny, our birthright....

The key? THE Key? Not a sustainable economy? Not growth and productivity? Well, I guess the space race brought us an enormity of scientific and military advances, as well as Tang, comfortable pillows and advances in everything from watch making to watch repair.

And our birthright? Apparently I'd better head to the 7-11 and grab the last couple of Red Bulls of the shelf, lest the prophecy go unfulfilled.

Some will ridicule those who dream of Space Empire or speak of the future colonization of the Moon and Mars. Yet these will be the realities of the future, whether we are willing to accept them or not. The control and colonization of space will not only render humanity less vulnerable to the random chances of fate (an asteroid strike, for example) but it will also forever forestall the rise of another great power upon the Earth.

Why does this read more and more like a bad Science Fiction Novel? Oh yeah. Because it is.

Think about it for a moment. A single Star Cruiser, maneuvered into position, could drop dozens of weapons onto a target seconds after launch. Defending against such an attack, short of the use of other space vessels, would be essentially impossible. A handful of such ships could, if necessary, wipe an entire nation off the face of the Earth. In the face of such power, most rational nations would have no choice but to accept permanent American world rule....

The rebels will have to establish a base on Hoth, I guess. Seriously, WHAT THE HELL????

It may even be that we will find alien races that will have to be destroyed, lest they pose a threat, or that we will find races of servile aliens which might prove useful to us in other ways. I don't know if we will, and we won't know unless we try.

President Bush: Keeping the World Safe From Decepticons since 2004!

January 12, 2004

Stolen Thunder

Calpundit asks why democrats are criticized for pandering:

My point here isn't just to mock Mickey's prose — although there is that too — it's to wonder why it is that Democrats are forever being taken to task for pandering to their "interest goups" but Republicans aren't. After all, if unions are an interest group, so is management. If blacks are an interest group, so are whites. If environmentalists are an interest group, so are industrial polluters.

My take, quite simply is that the Republican party has developed a far better mastery of the language of politics than the democrats. Witness Newt Gingrich's words lists , for example. If the Republicans want to cater to Pharmaceutical companies, they call iMedicarere reform. Tax breaks for the wealthy are tax relief (this is accompanied by an example of a couple with four kids, a decent stock portfolio, two late model cars, and the dad is left-handed, but learned rather than by birth, thus they qualify, you know, just like you and me). Newt and the neocons aside, this is not a new game, it's just one that the Republican party is playing better than the Democrats.

The republicans know that for the most part, the Republican third of the nation is going to vote for anybody but a liberal, and the liberal third is going to vote for anybody but a conservative. They know that they have to appeal to the independent third to win, and they move to do that with tax cuts (helps out the pocketbook), increased entitlement spending(salves the conscience), the War on Terror (makes us feel all warm and snuggly at night), and corporate boosterism hidden behind a veil of compassionate conservatism( it'll create better paying jobs and save the bald eagle). The independent third likes all these things and goes along with the Republican talking points.

Democrats poke holes in these plans all the time, but the bottom line is that the general public is not interested in thick policy debate, or complicated tax code, or whether or not the French hate us. They want to hear things that make them feel better, not a complicated treatise on why this stuff won't work.

Cynic that I am, until the Democrats can say they can do all of these things better and cheaper than the Republicans and wrap it all up in a glossy package that makes it sound all cute and pink and fuzzy, (and most importantly, make it sound believable, while being too complicated to let anyone get his or her head around) they'll be labeled as the party that is beholden to their special interests.

Also: Think semi-snappy acronyms. Reduce the viability of school vouchers by calling it the CHOICE (Communities Held Together Over Investing in Children's Education)act.

Yes, I know there's no T in choice, but if the government can play fast and loose with acronyms, then so can I. FOAD.

This is Not Good News

I see the the US Supreme Court has chosen not to review the cases of the post 9/11 detainees. Now as fun as it is to attack John Ashcroft, I don't think he's evil personified, and I think he truly believes he's doing good. He just happens to be wrong.

That being said, civil libertarians the world over should be really upset over this one.

January 11, 2004

My First Link!

Thanks to Walter In Denver for pointing out the existence of this humble little blog. He's right. I should write more. Unfortunately today's motivation is practically nil.

We'll just hope the muse strikes tomorrow.

January 06, 2004

The Problem

It's late at night, and god knows I shouldn't be trying to rationalize anything at this point. That being said, let me proceed to do so anyway. For all the talk of Bush-hatred and the other abominations of the left, let me say that as someone who wishes himself to be libertarian, but can't quite make the plunge: the right can fuck straight off. Adam Yoshida, Misha, and the freeper brigade regularly wish to eliminate the left entirely. BAD FUCKING IDEA. Ultimately, gridlock is a good thing. The right, unbeholden is as dangerous as the left would be. For the most part, government gridlock is a good thing, as it prevents the extremist agendas from gaining too much traction. Too bad so many partisans can't see that, and too bad that so many of said partisans are on the right. Paul Krugman is a shrill, shrill man though. Go figure.

January 04, 2004

Just Shut Up Already

I'm pretty much over the Right Wing deciding that any movie, TV show, or CD that they like is keepin' it real for conservatives. I've seen more than one thread on Free Republic that talks about how the guys from South Park, or Eminem or the Lord of The Rings, etc must drive liberals nuts because it so obviously echoes conservative values.

Liberals like it (or dislike it) at probably about the rate of conservatives. Trey and Matt, Peter Jackson, Eminem and the corporate conglomerates that publish their work are interested in lots and lots of money. The artists are worried about lots and lots of money. They want to get something out that will get them attention and make them, you guessed it, lots and lots of money. Don't take it like it's a sign from the heavens when you agree with something that was designed for mass consumption. I don't think I'm politically aligned with the board of directors at the Coca Cola company, just because I happen to think they create a tasty beverage.

America Loves the Gays

In a rather sharp turnabout from his usual even-tempered posting style, Eugene Volokh savages Clayton Cramer over his argument that the Government likes homosexuals and IV drug users more than those of us who are straight and clean.

Note that Cramer mentions on his blog that he's getting more conservative as his children age. Apparently he's getting dumber, too.

December 30, 2003

Not Stupid, Just Slow

I'vee been too busy to follow up with part II of the public sector post. Perhaps some hungover bloggy goodness come New Years Day.

December 25, 2003

Star Wars Nerds

Right or wrong, this is too damn funny. 11+ minutes and not safe for work. Still. Go there now!

A Note on Capitalization

Just because I seem to be having trouble with this, and I think that readers may as well. I have spent some time doing computer programming, and the nomenclature that we used at our organization was humpback notation, which means that variables, functions, etc. are all named by cramming all of the words that you would use to describe the thing into one word without spaces, then explaining what it does, then capitalizing the first letter of what used to be each word. For example a function that returns 80% of the value that you put in would be called something like "fcnReturn80Percent(iValue)".

I've just noticed that I've been struggling to avoid capitalizing like this, and if I mess up, then you know why (aside from being able to stand on a hilltop and scream that I'm an idiot, that is). Now you know why I might end up OverCapitalizingWeirdCrap.

To Know the NeoCons

Calpundit has one of the most trenchant posts I've seen in over 10 years of surfing the net. Go read it now.

Public Sector Innovation

Mark Kleiman has a great post asking why the Public Sector isn't more innovative. Warning: Long!

As someone who has had experience in local government, as well as the private sector, let me take s quick stab at it.

At the worker bee level, my experience is that most public employees are as dedicated to their job as someone in a similar private position. In many cases where the salary is far less than can be made in the private sector (IT and Engineering, for example), the dedication is even more pronounced, as these people are intentionally getting paid less than market value.

Yes you'll find people who's job is to produce CYA memos and yes you'll find bureaucrats, but no more than they exist in a private corporation. The difference is that as public employees, everything that they do is public record, whereas such an employee in a private corporation is simply fired, and they move on. Nothing short of a Tyco level scandal will bring this person's scandals to light.

As plaintiff's exhibit A, see the efforts to recall this cad. Had he been employed by a private company, he would have been fired (hopefully), but either way, he would not have been a public issue.

When employed by public government, and at a high enough managerial level, you are ultimately employed at the discretion of the board of directors, the city council,the mayor, etc. Even if you aren't a political appointee, your boss , or the elected official that your boss reports to is.

Still with me? I hope so. So you're either one or two steps removed from being shitcanned at the whim of a couple of people who are mainly driven by politics. If you aren't removable by the politicos, your boss is, and if they want you gone badly enough, they will put someone above you who will make you absolutely miserable.

So what do you do? If you stick your neck out as an innovator, you end up taking credit for the good, but taking heat for the bad. Some people will do this, but many hunker down and play politics like the people above them on the org chart. Unfortunately, this usually leads to compromise or gridlock, which leads to nobody moving forward very fast on anything, which leads to a lack of innovation. More on this later.

December 24, 2003

Adam Yoshida is Still an Imbecile

See this post. If Dean isn't a puppet of Hollywood, how else do you explain the fact that his slogans resemble script titles? In other news, most "conservatives" are nothing but Clintonite shills for continually using the word "is" post-MonicaGate.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night. Welcome to Oceania. A blog that will be about whatever the hell interests me at the moment. This blog is currently hosted on blogspot and powered by blogger pending my ability to keep it going longer than my last blog.

You'll read about, well...I'm not quite sure. At any moment my thoughts might drift toward politics, pop culture, current events, sex (I'm a guy), or anything else that grabs at my attention.