Thursday, September 25, 2003

This could be big. It's been too long in coming. It's time that the adhesion contracts (EULAs) used by software vendors be modified in favor of the users. I'd be more willing to pay a monthly or annual license fee, if the software vendors had to deliver on their promises.

I don't generally agree with criticisms of John Ashcroft. They are usually paranoid or bigoted. But, this one bothers me. This will clog the courts and make more work for prosecutors.

The way I viewed the debate last night is that it is similar to the Reagan-Carter debates in 1980, there was a huge block of voters who tuned in already leaning against Carter but concerned about the picture of Reagan as a wild-eyed warmonger which had been painted in the media. All Reagan had to do was to demonstrate that he was safe to vote for. The following day, polls showed a huge surge of support for Reagan. It was like a snow drift poised to slide in his favor and it did.

All Arnold had to do is show that he isn't a dumb jock or a robot, and it sound's like he did better than that.

Ariana, on the other hand, makes me wonder who in his right mind would want to listen to soundbytes from that harpy for the next 2 or 3 years. She has no respect for anyone, including the audience, and her voice is like nails on a blackboard. If anybody challenges her, she accuses him of sexism. She's like a fly in the room that you can't swat.

Wednesday, September 24, 2003

Claudia Rosett has fun recommending replacements for some current terms being bandied about in Foreign Policy discussions:
War on Terror
Weapons of Mass Destruction
Nation Building
United Nations
U.N. Resolutions
President or Prime Minister
Suicide bomber
New World Order
She doesn't really recommend replacements, so I'll suggest my own:
War on Terror = Defense of Humankind
Weapons of Mass Destruction = The Adults Table
Nation Building = Pouring Money Down a Rathole
United Nations = The Mad Tea Party
U. N. Resolutions = Red Tape
President or Prime Minister (in non-democratic regimes = Warlord
Suicide Bomber = Walking Land Mines
Roadmap (formerly "the Peace Process") = Blind Alley
New World Order = the Pax Americana or the Second Dark Ages (depending on the outcome of American politics in the 21st Century)

I've taken to calling the Sacramento Bee. the "Housefly" after it announced that Dan Weintraub's blog will be edited. But then I saw that the paper has another blog which, according to Mickey Kaus, is run by the folks from the newsroom, calling itself, "Recall Fly on the Wall."

Dan Weintraub reports that "A Sacramento Superior Court judge has shaken the state�s fiscal house of cards with a ruling blocking the sale of nearly $2 billion in bonds the state hoped to use to pay its obligation to the pension fund this year." Of course, Davis and company will appeal this and push the accounting further down the road, but I'm beginning to wonder why any Republican wants the job. It seems like a perfect way to let Davis off the hook.

The question should be seriously considered, whether anybody can succeed in turning California's finances around without declaring bankruptcy? If Arnold wins and can't balance the budget by December, you know what the Democrats will be saying. I agree that somebody has to try to save things, but what's the point, if it can't be done?

I'm supporting Arnold, because nobody in Utah, Oregon, Idaho, Colorado, Nevada or Montana really wants a huge influx of people moving in from California. I think Utah would be pretty low on the list, as Wyoming and Nevada would be, because most of the land belongs to the government and none of them really has the water available to provide for such growth.

Why is Wes Clark getting so much attention? Are Republicans really that frightened of him? He certainly hasn't impressed me so far. He doesn't seem to know what he thinks and he keeps getting fisked on everything he says. He may be preferred by the Democratic Party insiders, but they no longer have control over the party's nominations. What am I missing here?

Jonathan Chait is being roundly fisked and refisked in the right blogosphere, and he deserves it. More than anything else, his screed exposes all the memes that Bush-haters have infected each other with. Anyone who listens regularly to Hugh Hewitt's show has heard Peter Beinart, Erwin Chemerinsky and Josh Marshall (to a lesser extent) spew this stuff in crescendos of frantic shrillness.

I posted the following on Shot in the Dark commenting on another excellent response to Chait:
My take is that these people can't bear to face the facts that (1) they actually defended Bill Clinton, who has been shown by subsequent events to have ignored his responsibility to protect and defend this nation, and (2) that George W. Bush, whom they all dismiss as an intellectual lightweight, has succeeded so brilliantly at the same task. They're in denial with a vengeance, and the density of their hatred is so high that it bends light into patterns that only they can see.
The danger, however, is that, with this mindset dominating the media, the people who don't pay attention will start believing the lies.

Tuesday, September 23, 2003

I keep marvelling at Jonathan Chait's "Case for Bush Hatred." He writes, "One reason Bush hatred is seen as inherently irrational is that its immediate precursor, hatred of Bill Clinton, really did have a paranoid tinge." What the heck does that mean? It only makes sense if you assume that only Conservatives can be paranoid. Arguing that Bush's reference to the British report about Saddam's shopping in Africa for yellowcake was a lie that undercut the whole basis for deposing the Iraqi tyrant is perhaps understandable, but these people seem to really believe it. Even when they concede that the war was justified, they still can't let go of that pig's ear of rhetoric. It's as though they have a need to find a lie from Bush as bald-faced as Clinton's finger-wagging reference to "that woman." But if this is the best they can come up with, they should be embarrassed to put it out there.

It was obvious to everybody that Clinton should never have been trusted with the keys to the family car, but to the Democrats, he was their ticket to power. They defended him and beat back impeachment with arguments that would make Mayor Daly blush, and they did so with the rage of a mama Grizzly. That rage hasn't subsided, and it is still driving them to a frenzy. They can't understand why Bush should be so successful when he says things like "strategery." It goes against everything they've believed in their whole lives--success is the reward for good grades and an Ivy League degree. But Bush isn't smart enough!!!

All I can say is that there are different kinds of intelligence, and Bush has the kind that they don't understand, and never will. Clinton has the kind of intelligence that allows him to recite long lists of trivia, yet believe, apparently, that oral sex isn't sex.

Funny, I thought liberals are all about peace and love. Could it be that they really mean all of that when it comes to the man who deprived them of control of the government? It's about time that they acknowledge their hatred, as childish and irrational as it is. The first step to change is recognizing that you have a problem, right?

My theory is that this is the response of those who defended Bill Clinton's indefensible behavior, when confronted with a real leader, who doesn't have the superficial qualities they place so much store by.

Monday, September 22, 2003

I wonder how the Sacramento Bee would have responded if Gray Davis had asked them to crack down on Dan Weintraub's blogging to the effect that:
Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante "certainly owed his elevation to the job of Assembly speaker to his ethnic background and to the support he received from fellow Latinos. If his name had been Charles Bustmont rather than Cruz Bustamante, he would have finished his legislative career as an anonymous back-bencher."

Further, he alleged, "it's indisputably true that the Legislature's Latino Caucus advocates policies that are destructive to their own people and to greater California, in the name of ethnic unity."
The Sac Bee's ombudsman tries to explain the response of the paper:
No matter what I or anyone else thinks, he [Weintraub] has every right to analyze the political scene and reach those conclusions. But no newspaper should publish an analysis without an editor's review. That doesn't necessarily mean that Weintraub's blog should have been reworded, but an editor should at least have had the opportunity to question his conclusions.
Say what?! It's a BLOG, for crying out loud! That's the point of a blog, that it's immediate and isn't edited. It's pure freedom of speech. If it needs correction, let the writer fix it himself. If it's edited by someone else, it isn't a blog anymore--it's a column. If Weintraub had really said something abusive of Latinos, he could have been reprimanded or even fired, but he didn't. The paper chose instead to de-blog his blog. What's the point of that?

All I can say is, I guess that's why the paper isn't called the Independent.