www.slublog.comCome by and see the new site. -------- AUTHOR: Slublog DATE: 3/15/2005 09:10:00 AM ----- BODY: Voters, Shmoters - Judge in San Francisco says gay marriage ban approved by voters is unconstitutional. I've been reading "Men in Black" by Mark Levin. I always knew judicial overreach was a problem, but had no idea of its extent before reading this book. While I tend to support a compromise on this issue, I think that the major problem is the radical judiciary. This judge never should have ignored the will of the voters of California. For years, conservatives have been focusing on the symptoms of this problem - the actual judgments of those who legislate from the bench. At the same time, we've been ignoring the root of the problem - the fact that activist judges were being nominated by the president at the time - William Jefferson Clinton. Now, when we have the chance to nominate judges that will uphold the law, the Senate Republican leadership is capitulating and refusing to take action. Cases like this should push Republicans to contact their leadership in the Senate and demand movement on the nomination of judges. I don't care how scary the nuclear option is to the leadership - it should be set in motion. A minority of Democrats cannot be allowed to obstruct the president's constitutional power and continue the status quo that presently exists where judges are creating legislation from the bench with no constitutional basis for their rulings. -------- AUTHOR: Slublog DATE: 3/14/2005 09:56:00 PM ----- BODY: In Progress - I've set up an account with Hosting Matters for the "www.slublog.com" domain. I'm trying to set up movable type, but it's really difficult. I think they made it difficult on purpose, so you'd have to pay to have them install it... Anyway, the big changes promised earlier are coming. New site, new look, new URL. Once I get movable type working, that is... -------- AUTHOR: Slublog DATE: 3/14/2005 03:43:00 PM ----- BODY: Sorry, Busy Day - Forgot to say hello to all of the visitors from Ace of Spades. Welcome all, and apologies for the skimpy posting. It's been an extremely busy day. -------- AUTHOR: Slublog DATE: 3/14/2005 09:00:00 AM ----- BODY: Heh - This is pretty funny. -------- AUTHOR: Slublog DATE: 3/14/2005 09:00:00 AM ----- BODY: Party of Inclusion Update - Some Democrats want mount a liberal challenge to Democratic Senator Joe Lieberman. -------- AUTHOR: Slublog DATE: 3/14/2005 09:00:00 AM ----- BODY: Bruce! - Okay, I have just got to see this. It looks stupid, but it's Bruce Campbell versus aliens. Count me in. -------- AUTHOR: Slublog DATE: 3/12/2005 02:52:00 PM ----- BODY: Hollywood's War - I'm half-watching "The Siege" on USA. It's a movie from 1998 about terrorist attacks on New York city leading to martial law, hate crimes against Muslims and mass roundups of Arab citizens. What's most striking about the film is how inaccurate it is post-September 11. Four years after terrorists murdered over 3,000 citizens, nothing like what the movie portrays has happened in the United States, a fact for which we should be grateful. The movie is gripping and reasonably well-acted, but feels dated and gratingly wrong, considering how we really responded to attacks on our own citizens. UPDATE - Also, way too much slow-mo. -------- AUTHOR: Slublog DATE: 3/12/2005 12:45:00 PM ----- BODY: Question for CBS - I was watching the CBS Early Show and left wondering - why didn't the network pick this guy to anchor the CBS Evening News? He's much more watchable than Bob Schieffer. -------- AUTHOR: Slublog DATE: 3/12/2005 12:35:00 PM ----- BODY: Snow Day - Snow falling from the sky, Mythbusters marathon on television. Works for me. -------- AUTHOR: Slublog DATE: 3/12/2005 11:19:00 AM ----- BODY: Liberal Dreams - Eleanor Clift tries to make the case that Hillary Clinton, in her recent political 'evolution,' is "frustrating the right by proving different from the caricature they made of her." Clift says that Hillary is a formidable candidate because she understands the cultural weakness of the Democratic party. Her evidence? That Hillary has recently come out against our sex and violence-drenched media. This, Clift believes, will make her nearly unbeatable by any Republican candidate. Of course, to prove this point, Clift compares Hillary to two candidates - Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist and Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice. She doesn't mention the one candidate the Democrats are probably most worried about, and who currently leads most Republican primary polls - former New York Governor Rudy Guiliani. Bill Frist has no chance of becoming the Republican presidential nominee. Simply put, the man is a wimp. He's allowed the Democrats to walk all over the Republicans in the Senate and still shows no indication he's willing to fight them - just empty threat after empty threat. Rank and file Republicans are angry at the seeming ineffectiveness of the Senate leadership. Unless Frist does something impressive fast, he will be a Gary Bauer-sized blip on the radar. Rice would make a good vice-presidential pick, but probably doesn't have the experience to run as a major-party candidate. Clift is also wrong on the issues that matter to voters. Those concerned about social issues won't fall all over themselves for Hillary based on her views on video games and movies. It's her views on social issues like abortion, euthanasia, gay marriage and others that will determine how social issues voters look at a Hillary candidacy. In addition, Clift ignores a major fact - as a presidential candidate, Hillary would represent not only herself, but a party that has spent the past four years alienating itself from middle-America. If secondary social issues and third-tier candidates are all Clift has to offer in defense of a Hillary candidacy, I think more work needs to be done. I think Hillary could make a good candidate. She just needs to find a different party. -------- AUTHOR: Slublog DATE: 3/11/2005 09:42:00 AM ----- BODY: Blogger Bipartisanship - The threat of regulation by the FEC has brought liberal and conservative bloggers together. A letter is being sent to Scott Thomas, chairman of the Federal Election Commission, protesting the new rules. I've signed the letter, and if you're a blogger, I encourage you to do the same. The response is extraordinary. After all, where else are you going to see Ed Morrissey and Markos Moulitsas agreeing with one another? -------- AUTHOR: Slublog DATE: 3/11/2005 09:05:00 AM ----- BODY: Bush Hatred, Still - Wizbang has a post on an episode of Bush-hatred gone awry. A man in Florida chased a woman with a Bush-Cheney sticker on her car and tried to run her off the road. Here in deep blue Maine, I've seen a number of cars with their Kerry-Edwards stickers still prominently displayed. Other cars are practically plastered with anti-Bush slogans. I saw one today that said "George W. Bush: Worst 'President' Ever." Another car had the charming slogan "Who Would Jesus Bomb?" Advice to Democrats: you guys really have to get over this. The challenge to the president's legitimacy, the insults to religion, the childishness - this has been going on for five years. The schtick is getting pretty old. They've gone from maddening, to annoying, to just a bore. Like a bad party guest who keeps telling the same stupid story over and over. Bush cannot run for president again - it's time to start focusing your hatred on something else, maybe. Or better yet, start coming up with policies to actually counter the president instead of urging Democrats to simply oppose everything Bush does. And while I'm at it - enough with the bumper stickers. It's getting to be that I can tell a liberal just by looking at the back of their car from a distance. -------- AUTHOR: Slublog DATE: 3/11/2005 09:03:00 AM ----- BODY: One Angry Cat - I think this cat just fulfilled a dream that many cats secretly harbor. I guess this is why so many people prefer dogs. -------- AUTHOR: Slublog DATE: 3/11/2005 08:27:00 AM ----- BODY: It's a Trick - Senator Hillary Clinton spoke out against violence in children's entertainment on Wednesday in yet another step in her long and bleedin' obvious run for president in 2008. Everyone talks about what a great politician Clinton is for moving to the center. Those pundits are easily impressed, I think. If Hillary were really as brilliant as people give her credit for being, she would be a bit more subtle in her political evolution. You can use a lot of words to describe Hillary's new politics, but subtle certainly isn't one of them. She's like a magician who's making a quarter disappear by stuffing it down her sleeve and expecting us to be impressed with her performance. -------- AUTHOR: Slublog DATE: 3/10/2005 03:22:00 PM ----- BODY: Talking Point of the Day - I've tried my darndest to ignore the Michael Jackson trial, but it's everywhere - today especially. The defendant didn't show up for court and was almost arrested. Defenders of the former pop star talked about how he gets sick regularly, and the word they all used was "fragile." To a lackey. Think the lawyer was trying some desperate spin control? This couldn't have been good for his defense. -------- AUTHOR: Slublog DATE: 3/10/2005 12:14:00 PM ----- BODY: Sound of Silence - This server is unbearable. It took me quite a few minutes of trying to connect just to get this post up. If this company doesn't get its stuff together, it's going to be eclipsed by the other blogging software out there. That's where I'm headed, once my domain approval comes through. So I apologize for the lack of blogging - I've tried, but a guy only has so much patience. -------- AUTHOR: Slublog DATE: 3/10/2005 09:00:00 AM ----- BODY: More on McCain - Captain Ed has done some amazing research on Senator John McCain's Reform Institute. It would seem Mr. Clean has some rather odd financial relationships. -------- AUTHOR: Slublog DATE: 3/09/2005 10:42:00 PM ----- BODY: Big Changes Coming? - I have finally grown weary enough with this server to start taking steps to move the blog to a new domain. As soon as all the details are worked out, I'll let you know and this site will have a new URL and perhaps a new look. More to come... -------- AUTHOR: Slublog DATE: 3/09/2005 12:58:00 PM ----- BODY: My Tax Dollars at Work - It's not often that one can spend a great deal of money in taxes and see poor government service on the same day, but today was one of those days. I paid my over-$250 excise tax this morning when I registered the new car and drove to work on roads that had yet to see much effort from the public works department. I'm pretty forgiving in the morning, though - Bangor has a lot of roads. Just got back from getting lunch, though, and the roads are pretty much as they were this morning, including Union and Hammond Streets - two main arteries of the city. It's been much the same this whole winter - the worst winter for snow removal I can remember since I moved to the state. We have had a lot of storms, but we're also paying quite a bit every year in taxes for vehicles we already own. The non-plowed roads lead to more accidents, which means more costs in terms of police sent to the many fender-benders in the city after a storm. Count in the money lost by retailers when customers don't feel like going out on unplowed roads and you've got quite a tidy sum of cash going - all because the roads weren't thoroughly cleaned of snow. Snow removal is one of the basic responsibilities of the city after a storm, and this year it hasn't been done that well. Perhaps it's time to contract out the service to private firms and see if service improves when market-based competition is introduced. -------- AUTHOR: Slublog DATE: 3/09/2005 10:03:00 AM ----- BODY: Terror in the Trees - My friend Dan has written a very funny column about getting along with cousins. -------- AUTHOR: Slublog DATE: 3/09/2005 07:50:00 AM ----- BODY: Ugh - I hate winter. The snow is still falling, and I just spent the past few minutes trying to push my wife's car out of the driveway. We get another snowstorm on Saturday and Sunday. Great. I can't wait. -------- AUTHOR: Slublog DATE: 3/09/2005 07:30:00 AM ----- BODY: GOP Wimps - This article sums up my feelings on the current Republican party. These guys are a pretty sorry lot, and don't seem to realize or care how hard people like me worked for them this last election season. If they keep this up, 2006 is going to be a bad year. I can't be the only disgruntled Republican out there. -------- AUTHOR: Slublog DATE: 3/09/2005 07:26:00 AM ----- BODY: So What Is It You Do, Exactly? - That is one of my favorite lines from "Office Space," in which one of the consultants asks Tom Symkowski about his job. Symkowski mutters inanities about customer service that have no practical value to the company and the consultants decide his job is pointless and should be eliminated. The editors of the BDN would have made terrible consultants. In this editorial, they are attempting to prop up Mohamed ElBaradei, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency. They snarkily insinuate that the Bush administration wants to fire ElBaradei because his report found no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. The BDN tells the Bush administration to leave ElBaradei alone becuase he's doing such a good job. How do we know this? Well, it's obvious. Anyone who says stuff like this must be incredibly effective:
His final step was to "acknowledge the volatility of long-standing tensions that give rise to proliferation, in regions such as the Middle East and the Korean peninsula, and take action to resolve existing security problems and, where needed, provide security assurances."Wow. Be still my beating heart. What a man of action. The only action ElBaradei did that came close to being effective was his last-minute release of a report on missing munitions in Iraq that John Kerry and the media used as a club against the president in the final week of the campaign. I'm sure the timing on that report was just a coincidence. In the past four years, critics of the administration have blamed President Bush for souring relations with "the international community." Funny how none of those critics seem to notice how hostile the international community has been to the president, and how their actions are more harmful to US-world relations than anything President Bush has done. I guess for liberal editorial writers, blaming the president is a lot easier than giving up their illusions about the "utopia" of Europe. -------- AUTHOR: Slublog DATE: 3/08/2005 11:00:00 PM ----- BODY: Sigh - I hate March. -------- AUTHOR: Slublog DATE: 3/08/2005 10:40:00 PM ----- BODY: Thanks, Don - Just got a call from an old friend from high school. He reminded me of the time three of us went here and decided to deviate from the trail. We thought it would be fun to camp in the middle of the woods. Of course, there was a terrible thunderstorm that evening, and we didn't have enough foresight to bring any actual camping gear, so we looked for natural shelter. We saw a cave at the bottom of a small waterfall, so we rappelled about 30 feet down and crawled in to sleep. It was cold and wet, so we ended up miserable. Early in the morning, we all felt a strange creeping sensation on our skin. We turned on the flashlight to see dozens of centipedes crawling all over us. Yeah, I freaked out. -------- AUTHOR: Slublog DATE: 3/08/2005 06:23:00 PM ----- BODY: Pettiness Watch - Fox News is doing a story about Thomas Griffith, a nominee for the federal court. It seems he forgot to pay his state bar dues. Senator Patrick Leahy is on camera railing against Griffith's disregard for "fundamentals" of legal blah blah blah. This is the big Democrat criticism of a judicial nominee? That he didn't pay his bar dues? Wow. I mean, that's just embarrasing, isn't it? -------- AUTHOR: Slublog DATE: 3/08/2005 06:21:00 PM ----- BODY: Bad Weather + Boredom = Photoshop - I can't be the only one tired of Oliver Willis' continuing attempts to "retire Brit Hume."
That such restrictions are even being contemplated by our government is outrageous. We will fight any attempt to impose them. And we believe we may have a unique role to play in the battle ahead. LoneStarTimes.com is affiliated with KSEV 700 AM, an independently owned talk-radio station in Houston, TX. As such, we believe that we enjoy the "broadcast exemption" that prohibits the federal government from regulating our speech in the manner they are proposing for "mere" citizen bloggers. While we still need to talk to some sharp lawyers and nail down the details, if these restrictions come to pass, KSEV and LST are committed to working out a legally sound way in which individual bloggers - of every ideological persuasion and partisan affiliation - can somehow register with us and be credentialed as a press representative of KSEV and LST.I personally believe that civil disobedience of a sort is a good response to this power-grab on the part of the Senators. I'm not a huge blogger and would likely be ignored by the FEC. So I'm going to join a lot of others and just keep blogging. This regulation of internet speech has nothing to do with money in politics. It's about power and giving the government the ability to regulate speech they don't like or agree with. I hope other radio stations follow the KSEV model and start offering press credentials to those who want them. I also hope bloggers of all ideological beliefs take KSEV up on their offer. This isn't a partisan issue and as Captain Ed has noted, it has sparked some rare blogger bipartisanship. -------- AUTHOR: Slublog DATE: 3/03/2005 10:01:00 PM ----- BODY: Guilty Pleasure Update - Most Extreme Elimination Challenge. A very odd, but entertaining, show. People in weird costumes, sometimes off-color commentary, lots of painful-looking accidents and a lot of mud. -------- AUTHOR: Slublog DATE: 3/03/2005 06:42:00 PM ----- BODY: Must-Read from Will - On the future of PBS. Technology and the markets have made public broadcasting obsolete. It's time to find Big Bird a new home. -------- AUTHOR: Slublog DATE: 3/03/2005 01:06:00 PM ----- BODY: Thanks for Nothing, John! - McCain-Feingold is coming to the blogsophere. FEC Commissioner Bradley Smith says there is action pending to regulate use of the Internet by campaigns. According to Smith:
Senators McCain and Feingold have argued that we have to regulate the Internet, that we have to regulate e-mail. They sued us in court over this and they won.The regulations would be on use of information from a campaign or linking to a campaign. In other words, promoting a candidate as many of us did with Polipundit's Wictory Wednesday would be illegal, because we asked people to donate to or volunteer for the Bush campaign. There have been very few times when the right and left sides of the blogosphere have agreed on a particular issue. This should be one of them. Kos and Oliver Willis have just as much to lose as Blogs for Bush if McCain and Feingold get their way. The regulation of internet speech will effectively end McCain's chances for the Republican nomination in 2008. GOP voters are among the most loyal readers of blogs and recognize the vital role they played in the last presidential election. They will not look kindly on the senator's latest attempt to put government regulators in charge of what people can and cannot say. -------- AUTHOR: Slublog DATE: 3/03/2005 12:03:00 PM ----- BODY: Someone Play "Taps" - Didn't quite make it to Camden. My beloved Saturn is finally showing its age - big time. Started acting funny and flashing warning lights at me, so I turned around and came home. Took it to the garage and got the verdict - the car has reached the end of its days. What it would cost to repair it would be the down payment on a new (well, new to me) car. *Sigh* So I'm in the car market again - going to look at a few tonight. It's funny how you develop sentimental attachments to stupid pieces of machinery. And I just bought snow tires for it...grrr... -------- AUTHOR: Slublog DATE: 3/03/2005 12:25:00 AM ----- BODY: Funniest Thing You'll Read All Day - Rolling Stone has a story on MoveOn.org. One of the lines made me laugh out loud, because I'm evil:
Wes Boyd - the software entrepreneur who used his fortune from creating the Flying Toaster screen saver to co-found MoveOn - blithely acknowledges the need to produce some electoral wins "in the classical sense." But he sees the rise of MoveOn's progressive populism as a moral victory in and of itself."In the classical sense." How priceless is that? In other words, actual...you know...wins. Where one candidate beats another candidate. It's a remarkably catty article. The lead sets the tone quite nicely:
They signed up 500,000 supporters with an Internet petition - but Bill Clinton still got impeached. They organized 6,000 candlelight vigils worldwide - but the U.S. still invaded Iraq. They raised $60 million from 500,000 donors to air countless ads and get out the vote in the battle-ground states - but George Bush still whupped John Kerry. A gambler with a string of bets this bad might call it a night. But MoveOn.org just keeps doubling down.In other words, these guys have made more political miscalculations than Bob Shrum. In the next few years, Hillary is going to denounce MoveOn and Michael Moore in her campaign to fool everyone into thinking she's a conservative. Shortly after that, the group will fade from the political scene. Until then, though, these guys are going to be a money-wasting albatross around the neck of the Democrats. Not that there's anything wrong with that... -------- AUTHOR: Slublog DATE: 3/03/2005 12:22:00 AM ----- BODY: Why Vote Republican Again? - If Congressional Republicans keep up their defeatist attitudes about the president's agenda, 2006 is going to be a very bad year. A lot of people worked very hard last year to re-elect President Bush and to keep and increase a Republican majority. The Coalition of the Spineless in the House and Senate have chosen to pay back that hard work with capitulation on a scale that would make the French jealous. If Congressional Republicans don't want to fight for the issues that led so many of us to vote for them last year, why should we fight for them next year? Republican leaders talk confidently of the 62 million voters that went to the polls for Bush in November. The assumption is obviously that those voters will be there again in November 2006. Conservatives should let Bill Frist, Dennis Hastert and Tom DeLay know that our votes should not be taken for granted. We didn't turn out in record numbers just to give you government salaries, nice offices and power. Fight, darn it. Fight. You have the votes. Now find the will. UPDATE 10:16 a.m. - After I read this, I realized it may not square with what I complained about with Dobson - that he threatens to bolt the party every time he doesn't get his way. Let me clarify. I don't mind if Congressional Republicans have to change parts of the president's plan to get it passed. Compromise is part of politics. What bothers me is their inability or their refusal to fight at all - the instant retreat in the face of criticism is maddening. -------- AUTHOR: Slublog DATE: 3/03/2005 12:16:00 AM ----- BODY: The 51st State? - A Maine legislator wants northern Maine to secede and become its own state. The best part? This isn't the first time he's tried this. -------- AUTHOR: Slublog DATE: 3/03/2005 12:10:00 AM ----- BODY: Wow - Jonah Goldberg is really annoyed at George Lucas. Actually, I don't know of a Star Wars fan that isn't. I know the guy has the right to do whatever he wants with the franchise he created, but I spent quite a few hours in my youth enjoying the original movies and am somewhat disappointed with the newer films. I'm hoping he does a good job with the final film, but will go into it with less excitement than before. -------- AUTHOR: Slublog DATE: 3/03/2005 12:08:00 AM ----- BODY: Light Blogging Today - I have to go down to the most pretentious part of the Maine coast for a workshop in the morning, so blogging will be light until afternoon or evening. -------- AUTHOR: Slublog DATE: 3/02/2005 05:45:00 PM ----- BODY: LBZ Woes, Again - My local NBC affiliate has done it again. After a long introduction, the channel ran a CNN story about how terrible the economy is. The reporter actually used the phrase "the rich are getting richer." Wow. Retro. To help prove his thesis, the reporter had a quote by Jared Bernstein, who was introduced as being from the Economic Policy Institute. This guy talked down the economy for a bit, and somehow, this was never mentioned:
BERNSTEIN, JARED ECONOMIC POLICY INSTITUTE/ECONOMIST $250 Kerry, JohnSeems to me a Kerry supporter would have good motive for making the economy seem worse than it is. And for the record, looks like CNN is peddling some bad information. The guys at LBZ have either got to stop picking misleading stories to run, or I'll just start watching for the weather. -------- AUTHOR: Slublog DATE: 3/02/2005 12:13:00 PM ----- BODY: Crossing the Line - Senator Ted Stevens wants cable television and radio to be subject to the same rules as broadcast, proving that rhetoric can be dumb and scary at the same time.
"Cable is a much greater violator in the indecency area," the Alaska Republican told the National Association of Broadcasters, which represents most local television and radio affiliates. "I think we have the same power to deal with cable as over-the-air" broadcasters.What Senator Stevens is calling for is nothing less than a massive expansion of federal power. You want Republicans to start losing elections? Start trying to regulate private entertainment choices and violating basic conservative principles. Now, I'm a religious conservative who thinks broadcast networks should be more careful in what they put on the air, but also believe it's the responsibility of parents to ensure that kids aren't being exposed to objectionable material. When it comes to cable or pay radio, though, government should just stay out of the picture. I'm just libertarian enough to believe that people should be allowed to watch what they want, if they are willing to pay for the privilege. I may not like Howard Stern or programs with profanity and nudity, but my disapproval does not give me the right to determine what others may watch. After all, where do you stop? People sometimes swear in the Harry Turtledove book I'm reading. Does that mean I shouldn't be allowed to buy it? Does Senator Stevens want to create the Federal Bureau of Keeping Dirty Cussin' Out of Books? Senator Stevens is attempting to impose his values on those who do not share them, using the power of the federal government. It used to be that conservatives and liberals disagreed on the extent of federal power. Now the only area of disagreement seems to be when it should be used. (H/t: Ace) -------- AUTHOR: Slublog DATE: 3/02/2005 12:03:00 PM ----- BODY: Byrd Blackout - Captain Ed notes the lack of MSM reporting on Senator Robert Byrd's comparison of Republicans to the regime of Adolph Hitler. Why does this former bigot consistenly get a pass for his outrageous statments? Lileks has some good thoughts on Byrd and his comments. -------- AUTHOR: Slublog DATE: 3/02/2005 12:15:00 AM ----- BODY: My White Whale - Think the Maine Christian Civic League is a reasonable organization, interested in working with legislators? Think again. The lack of respect shown the legislator willing to answer the League's questions in good faith is appalling. It shows that the problem with the MCCL goes much deeper than Michael Heath. The entire organization is dysfunctional. The MCCL gets most of its support from churches throughout the state of Maine. If you're a Christian who lives in Maine and you're tired of having ineffective representation of your views in Augusta, check this list to see if your church supports the League. If so, ask your pastor or board of elders to reconsider support for the MCCL. It's become obvious that Heath and the organization he leads are unwilling to change their tactics and an intervention of sorts is needed. Christians need to be involved with politics, but in a way that is effective and, more importantly, glorifies Christ. Alienating and insulting lawmakers does not meet either of these criteria. The League needs to change, and Christians need to force that change or withhold their support. I know I've been rather obsessive about this in recent days, but I consider this issue important enough to warrant multiple posts. Christians are not being well-represented in Augusta. It's time that we were. -------- AUTHOR: Slublog DATE: 3/02/2005 12:04:00 AM ----- BODY: Quit the AARP - Rich Lowry gives seniors some sound advice. The AARP is presently sowing the seeds of its own future irrelevance. Their opposition to any changes in Social Security and their willingness to mortage the future financial health of the country in order to get cheap drugs and bigger checks in the short run basically guarantees that no one in my generation will join the organization when they come calling in the future. -------- AUTHOR: Slublog DATE: 3/02/2005 12:01:00 AM ----- BODY: I Invoke Godwin! - Robert "Sheets" Byrd has taken the Bush-Hitler comparison to the floor of the United States Senate. Consider the irony. A former racist leader is using another famous racist to insult the policies of a man that has appointed more minorities to positions of power than other recent presidents. Byrd's casual mention of Hitler is a new low for the former Kleagle, and the party that allows him to spew his poisonous rhetoric. Does Harry Reid have any control over the extremism in his party, or is he willing to allow the angry left to maintain such a stranglehold over the ideology of the Democrats? -------- AUTHOR: Slublog DATE: 3/01/2005 05:41:00 PM ----- BODY: Seen on NBC News - My local news had a story by an NBC reporter about the terrorist attack in Iraq that killed 125. He talked about the casualties, the insurgency and the threat of terrorism in the United States, but somehow didn't find the time to mention this. Funny, that. -------- AUTHOR: Slublog DATE: 3/01/2005 09:23:00 AM ----- BODY: Weird Google Ad - "Disturbing ghost footage?" Google scans sites to determine ad content. What on earth did I write to make Google think that would be a good ad for me? -------- AUTHOR: Slublog DATE: 3/01/2005 09:03:00 AM ----- BODY: Churchill Update - Man, this guy is just the story that keeps on giving. And to think none of this would have happened if the good professor had just moderated his tone a bit when talking about the victims of the September 11 terrorist attacks. -------- AUTHOR: Slublog DATE: 3/01/2005 09:02:00 AM ----- BODY: Well This Stinks - Imagine what it looks like outside my window. -------- AUTHOR: Slublog DATE: 3/01/2005 12:41:00 AM ----- BODY: iTunes Gripe - I love iTunes. It's a fantastic way to purchase music that I use quite often. It's far from perfect, though. One of the more annoying glitches is the "Album Only" label that graces some songs. If I wanted to purchase the album, I wouldn't be on iTunes in the first place - the appeal is the ability to get one song at a time, legally. For some reason, there are record producers that insist on making some songs unavailable for individual purchase. That's a dumb decision. If people who use iTunes cannot purchase the song, some of them are going to acquire it through other programs in a way that doesn't compensate the artist. This doesn't mean I'm going to do that, by the way. But for anyone with a modem, it's an easy option. Those who make the decision to put some songs off-limits should realize a simple truth: the only people you're hurting are those who want to do the right thing. Everyone else will find the song whether you like it or not. Nice job, guys. -------- AUTHOR: Slublog DATE: 3/01/2005 12:30:00 AM ----- BODY: Heath Clarification - In my previous post on Michael Heath and his recent editorial, it may have seemed as though I was calling his faith into question. I meant to clarify that at the end of my comments, but ran out of time before I had to leave for the evening. From everything I know about Michael Heath, he's a good guy who loves his family and is sincere about his faith. I simply wish he would give up his position of leadership as a speaker for those of faith. Not because he's a bad guy, but because he's lost the respect of those he's paid to lobby and those he's supposed to represent. If Christians want to be effective in politics, they have to have a compelling message and a spokesman who can clearly articulate it. The problem with the focus on homosexuality is that too often, the subject is treated as though there aren't real people behind the rhetoric. As I've mentioned before, I have gay relatives who I love very much and I'm tired of seeing Christians treat their lives as talking points. It seems as though gays and lesbians have become convenient scapegoats to focus on as a way of ignoring the real problems with marriage that the church has ignored for decades. There are issues besides homosexuality that could use the attention of a Christian civic organization. I wish the church had political leaders with enough vision to see them. -------- AUTHOR: Slublog DATE: 2/28/2005 03:41:00 PM ----- BODY: Puppy-Kickin' Time - Mike Heath has responded to his critics, and it isn't pretty.
As it ran in the Portland Press Herald on Thursday, February 17, 2005 Some Maine columnists are disparaging me personally and belittling my Christian beliefs. They wrongly assume that this is the way to undermine the Christian Civic League's work against the homosexual rights movement in Maine. That is why bitter personal attacks and ridicule have finally come to the forefront. Over the past decade, the League has more than once successfully opposed the agenda of the homosexual rights movement, even though every last bastion of elitism in Maine was against us. I don't think this success is attributable to my charming personality or my quick wit. It is attributable to the force of the ideas we have offered.Last time I checked, the mission statement of the Maine Christian Civic League was "Bringing a Biblical perspective to the dialogue over public policy," not "Fighting the gay rights agenda 24/7." Almost every League statement or policy proposal in the past few years has been about homosexuality. Calling it an obsession of Heath's is not overstating the case. Check this site, and how many of the articles have to do with the subject. Gee, Mike. I can't imagine why "every last bastion of elitism in Maine" would be against you. I mean, how does something like that happen? In the past year, you've threatened to out legislators and accused the governor of having "one of those imaginary gay genes." These hardly count as forceful ideas. In fact, they sound more like crude personal attacks on those who disagree with you. Ever heard the saying about the pot and the kettle?
Now, the left has finally exhausted its supply of arguments and deceptions. The only course of action left open to liberal columnists is to attack me personally. I lead an organization which is concerned with matters of right and wrong, so words like "evil" and "wrong" do have a place in my arguments. I do feel outraged at times and angry at other times. This is a natural reaction for anyone who sees something he loves being harmed. And I do feel "buoyant and youthful" on occasion, when I see the truth winning out.What you lead, Mr. Heath, is an organization that bears the name of Christ. You may be outraged and angry at what people are saying about you, but those of us who call ourselves Christians often feel the same emotions when you pretend to speak in our name or in the Name of the Savior we worship.
I don't hate anyone; nor do I ridicule or revile my opponents. My heart aches when I think of the brokenness I see in homosexual relationships.Threating to out your opponents isn't reviling? Saying the governor has a "gay gene" isn't ridiculing? Using the recent mishap of the governor as a way to make a political point is fair game? You and I obviously have a different sense of what constitutes ridicule. And pardon me for asking, but just what the heck do you know about homosexual relationships? We can debate the theological disagreements with homosexuality all we want, but should be careful not to disparage the actual relationships. Focus on the policy implications, not the people. Hate the sin...you know the rest.
Someone very close to me recently told me about riding in a car with his young niece, a little girl without a father - not through an accident or a broken marriage, but through design. Her mother is a lesbian. The little girl asked my friend, "Is it OK if I call you Daddy?" If your heart isn't broken by this, you had better see a minister, and fast - or better yet, check your pulse. It is fascinating to me that this entire issue can be reduced so easily to an argument over one person - me - by so many otherwise thoughtful writers in Maine. They seem indifferent about the future of families in Maine, preferring instead to make the absurd charge that I "hate gays."Well, my heart isn't broken, but my stomach is sure doing some flops. Ugh. Can't we just agree as conservatives that using children to make our political points should be left to the, uh, left? I agree that children are best raised by a mother and a father, but don't you think some sort of statistic would have worked better here? I repeat: ugh. And I don't think you "hate gays," but you and the organization you lead are certainly obsessed with them.
To those on the left, this isn't about hating the sin and loving the sinner. It's substituting personal attacks for real ideas. It isn't about important theological and philosophical issues. It's about the need to turn a blind eye towards matters of right and wrong, truth and falsehood. And this debate is deeply personal for all of us. The left is hitting closer and closer to more and more homes.Uh...if this is about real ideas, then shouldn't this article contain some of them? Heath is trying to tell us what his political oppents believe when he obviously has no idea what they actually think. It's not that liberals believe there is no right and wrong, it's that they have chosen to redefine those terms to fit a particular ideological mold. Heath doesn't understand his opponents. When Jesus was on this earth, He would engage his opponents on their own ground, using their own language. Heath is trying to speak the language of mainstream evangelical belief into the secular policy world and wondering why no one is listening to him. If he wants to make a difference, he should learn the language.
We have some very serious work to do on the issue of human sexuality. If we do not, we are going to lose this civilization. Part of being human is to make a distinction between right and wrong. Philosophers call this "the ethical fact." All cultures have done this up to now, except our own, a culture in which liberals have gained the upper hand. They have decided to place sex in a special category where nothing is right or wrong.Oh, give me a break. "Lose this civilization?" Criminy. Could we cool the rhetoric just a bit? Do I think gay marriage is an issue that needs to be debated? Yes. Do I think gay marriage, if passed, would cause the United States to collapse into a heaping pile of immoral rubble? No. Shrillness doesn't work. Just ask John Kerry. His dour pronouncements about the Bush administration didn't square with what most people saw around them. A lot of people in Maine know someone who is gay or lesbian and don't see them as civilization-destroying fiends. Instead, we see them as friends, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, parents, etc. Acknowledging this wouldn't be hard, but Heath isn't interested. He would rather preach to the choir who believes as he does.
But allow me to ask a simple question: Wouldn't it be better for all involved if we maintained our traditional understanding of marriage and the family? Every lesbian or "gay" man longs for a loving mother and father. Every mother and father wants to build a family that gives them grandchildren. Why aren't we creating a society with policies, laws, and beliefs that support this obvious truth? Instead, we want to violate common sense, ignore the lessons of history and toss out customs and laws that stretch back thousands of years, all in an effort to place sodomy on a par with holy matrimony.Okay, quick primer. Scare quotes around gay - bad. The word 'sodomy' - bad. If Heath is trying to convince people of his point of view, he's doing a terrible job. Remember what I said earlier about speaking his own language? That's exactly what's going on here. Heath refuses to moderate his rhetoric, alienating those who might be inclined to agree with him.
Where is the logic in this? Perhaps Bill Nemitz can explain it to you. I can't. It is a form of social insanity with roots that are deep and wide. There is only one solution, and that is for Christians to speak and act like Christians.Okay. How's this? "Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ." Or this? "To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices." But maybe you'd rather go on about gay genes and the sexual orientation of legislators.
That means no pornography. It is wrong. It means no sex outside of marriage. That is wrong, too. That means divorce only in the case of adultery, and even then it must be discouraged.Hey, other issues. What a concept. Too bad it's only cursory.
Christians need to be Christian. What else will they be? From what historic and durable set of ideas will we derive our values? The "Religion and Values" pages of the Portland Press Herald?Yes, Christians need to be Christian. And organizations that bear the name of the Savior need to have higher standards of behavior and rhetoric than has been shown thus far by the leadership of the Maine Christian Civic League. Remember who you are.
Do we even care? I hope so. Indeed, I pray so. The little girls and boys of the future are all going to want mommies and daddies. They are already calling for them, you know.End with the appeal to emotion. It's a good fundraising tactic, but a poor debating point. The MCCL is an organization with no clout and no future. If it wants to survive, it should start expanding its focus and look at other issues that impact Christians in Maine. It should also consider a change in leadership. So far, it has shown an unwillingness to do either. If it continues on its present "all gay, all the time" course, then it will (and deserves to) fade from the Maine political landscape. -------- AUTHOR: Slublog DATE: 2/28/2005 02:10:00 PM ----- BODY: Same Story - Different headlines. This weekend, the Camden Conference was held in Maine. The subject was the Middle East. The Portland Press Herald decided to cover the entire event and their headline reads: "Mideast dialogue comes to Camden." The BDN decided it would focus entirely on General Anthony Zinni's remarks: "Retired general critiques U.S. policy in Iraq." The BDN story isn't particularly well-written, leaving me wondering what the heck Zinni actually said and looking on the web for a transcript of his remarks. It makes the conference, which actually seemed pretty interesting, look like nothing more than a long weekend of U.S. foreign-policy bashing. It would have been nice for the local paper to provide an actual account of what happened at the conference instead of a story consisting entirely of cherry-picked quotes from one speech. -------- AUTHOR: Slublog DATE: 2/28/2005 01:10:00 PM ----- BODY: Getting Ridiculous - I'm seriously considering moving the blog to another server. The performance problems on the current host are getting annoying. If anyone has any advice about what they use, please drop me an email - click my name at the bottom of the post for the address. Thanks. UPDATE: I think I have an idea of what to do and where to go. My big concerns are bandwidth costs and archives, but I don't think it will be too bad. Nothing like cutting and pasting HTML for hours... -------- AUTHOR: Slublog DATE: 2/28/2005 11:37:00 AM ----- BODY: Best of the Blogs - A new website, the Blogger News Network, has launched. I'll be sending pieces to them once in awhile, and visiting often. -------- AUTHOR: Slublog DATE: 2/28/2005 10:39:00 AM ----- BODY: Oh, Goody - Here we go again. -------- AUTHOR: Slublog DATE: 2/28/2005 09:30:00 AM ----- BODY: Hey! - I agree with a BDN editorial! Central voting makes a lot of sense to me - no questions about where you're supposed to vote, easy voting if you've recently moved, etc. Now all we need to do is require picture ID and the process will be nearly perfect. -------- AUTHOR: Slublog DATE: 2/28/2005 09:17:00 AM ----- BODY: Cat Homecoming - Nice story from the Bangor Daily News about some soldiers who adopted a cat in Iraq and found a way to bring it home. The poor cat must be suffering some serious climate shock, though. From 80 degree temperatures in Baghdad to mid-teens in Caribou. -------- AUTHOR: Slublog DATE: 2/28/2005 09:06:00 AM ----- BODY: Jordan Meme Watch - The newest journalist to use the 'reporters as victims' is the tiresome Maureen Dowd from the New York Times. According to a post in The Corner by Jonah Goldberg, Dowd had the following to say on 'Meet the Press:'
And look at us, and we're torturing people and we're outsourcing torture. The administration is trying to throw journalists in jail and basically trying to replace the whole press crew with ringers, including male escorts. I mean, even Nixon hated the press, but he never tried to actually do an "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" thing with them. So as Tom has pointed out, it's a Pandora's box. There are good spirits and evil spirits that we've unleashed.Yes, Pandora's Box has been opened, but it wasn't the Bush administration who opened it. The imminent jailing of reporters is a direct result of the press' uncritical acceptance of the stories told by Joseph Wilson. The MSM ran with this story before all the facts were known, and called for an independent counsel. One was appointed, and has demanded these reporters give up their sources. The reporters have refused, obstructing the investigation. As is her practice, Dowd is trying to stuff facts into the narrow confines of her biases and using outdated comparisons to make her point. It's hard to know which is worse - the shrillness of her rhetoric, or the disingenuousness. -------- AUTHOR: Slublog DATE: 2/27/2005 04:48:00 PM ----- BODY: Why I Won't Be Watching the Oscars - Well, this is pretty much the reason. After having the ineffectiveness of their middle-America hatred repudiated so thoroughly at the polls, one would think the creative "geniuses' in Hollywood could calm their vitriol for one night. Guess not. Even before I read this story, though, the Oscars didn't appeal to me. Mostly because I'm not a big fan of the out-of-touch, self-congratulatory celebrities that will populate tonight's ceremony. Just before the inauguration, liberals spent a lot of time asking whether the president should spend $40 million on the festivities when there is so much pain and suffering in the world. A similar question could be asked of these celebrities. How much has been spent on the gowns, the jewels, the gift bags? Personally, I don't care. Unlike bitter leftists who wanted to deny the president a celebration of his second term, I don't begrudge Hollywood their celebration. As a big believer in capitalism, I'm glad the economy has been stimulated with the amount spent tonight. In addition to the reasons I've listed, I also find the ceremony boring, no matter who hosts. So while I'm secretly hoping Chris Rock insults Julia Roberts tonight, I won't be tuning in to watch it. -------- AUTHOR: Slublog DATE: 2/27/2005 04:09:00 PM ----- BODY: One Year Later - Mark D. Roberts has a good post on "The Passion of the Christ," one year later. I've seen the film twice - when it came out in the theaters. I have the DVD, but haven't yet watched the entire movie. I likely will before Easter. -------- AUTHOR: Slublog DATE: 2/25/2005 01:29:00 PM ----- BODY: What Economic Growth? - Today, the GDP numbers came out. The economy grew 3.8 percent. That is very good economic news. Now try to find that headline on CNN.com. It's not on the front page. So I scrolled down to the very end of the page and looked under "Business." Nope, not one of those headlines, either. So I clicked the link and got to the business page. Not the top story, not the second story...wait...there it is - a small subhead under the second headline. Maybe it's just CNN. So I clicked over to MSNBC. Top story: the pope's health. Side top, Academy Awards. Let's see...Also in the News: deaths in Iraq, deaths in Afghanistan, Hunter Thompson update, tsunami update, abduction...and there is the headline: "U.S. economic growth beats expectations." Next to last in the small-font section. Fox News - relegated to the "Latest Headlines" box. USA Today - Nothing. New York Times - Relegated to the small headline under a photo. Washington Post - Very small headline under "Business" that only says "Economic growth set at 3.8 percent." Nothing about it beating expectations. ABC thinks aliens are more important. No, not illegal immigrants. Little green men. (UPDATE: They've changed it since I posted this. Dang. Should have taken a screen shot.) At CBS, you have to scroll down to Business headlines to get the somewhat odd "US Economy bulks up." The media has decided - another month of economic growth is not news, I guess. -------- AUTHOR: Slublog DATE: 2/25/2005 12:36:00 PM ----- BODY: Is Anything About This Guy Real? - Michelle Malkin notes some apparent plagarism of art by Ward Churchill. I've gone from being annoyed at the guy to feeling really sorry for him. Churchill's whole life seems to have been spent pretending to be something he's not and although it was his choice, it's no way to spend a life. Like Geraghty says at TKS, his most enduring accomplishment may be to help end the practice of tenure at major universities. -------- AUTHOR: Slublog DATE: 2/25/2005 10:46:00 AM ----- BODY: Vox Blogoli 2.2 - Does the Senate GOP Go McClellan or Grant if Harry Reid "Goes Gingrich?" Hugh Hewitt asks another question for bloggers to consider. Harry Reid has threatened to shut down all Senate business if the Republicans change the rules on filibustering nominees to the federal judiciary - the 'nuclear option.' There are two possible responses to it. One is the McClellan route - constantly threatening to do something while preparing. This is the route Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist has taken thus far. Then there's the approach of Grant - total warfare. Although I wish the impasse over judges could be resolved without the so-called 'nuclear option,' I think it's time to start using the mandate Republicans were given in the last election. So it's Grant. The timidity on the part of the Congressional Republicans is distressing. Not nearly enough of them are in the trenches fighting for the ideals that won them the last election. As a lot, they seem more nervous about what the media might say about them than pushing forward an agenda. During the Civil War, General Grant was subjected to withering criticism for the way he led his troops. He was called a drunkard and a butcher because so many Union troops were dying in his aggressive assaults on the Confederate army. If he had listened to the critics, the war may well have dragged on for many more months, or years. Grant knew, though, that the only way to reunite the union was to win the war and the only way to win the war was to fight. And he fought. If Republicans take the Grant approach, they are going to be criticized by the MSM. The Democrats are going to raise heck and those cries will be amplified by the media. What Republicans need to remember is that the MSM isn't the only game in town these days. If they fight, they will inspire the base and the bloggers to fight with them. And it's a fight we can win. The defeat of Tom Daschle proves that on the debate over judicial nominees, the Democrats have the losing hand. The battle for the federal judiciary is the most important political issue of our time. Decisions made by judges can have long-lasting effects on our society. Voters understand this - which is why so many of them showed up on election day. If the Republicans refuse to fight on this issue, it will throw cold water on the enthusiasm of everyone who worked so hard to put them in office. We fought for you, guys. Now please return the favor. UPDATE: Welcome, Hugh Hewitt readers. Take a look around while you're here. -------- AUTHOR: Slublog DATE: 2/25/2005 08:59:00 AM ----- BODY: Writer's Block Cure? - Last night, I sat in front of the computer playing watch the blinking cursor instead of writing. I didn't see myself updating the site a lot today. Then I read this story linked from Instapundit, by the president of the American Library Association. Wow.
A blog is a species of interactive electronic diary by means of which the unpublishable, untrammeled by editors or the rules of grammar, can communicate their thoughts via the web."Unpublishable" - If I were an academic, I would be gasping for air and sputtering at this point. This is the most heinous insult in academia, where publish or perish is the rule. But, I'm not an academic, so I just found it kind of a non sequitur. "Untrammeled by editors" - I see this is going to be the major criticism of those who don't understand blogging. We're rogue agents, uncontrolled in our...what? Generation of debate? Communication of ideas? Isn't that a good thing? "...or the rules of grammar" - Yes, there is some painfully bad grammar on the web. I'll give him partial points on this one. But there are also those of us who have a familiarity with Strunk and White, William Safire and various stylebooks. But my grammar isn't always good - I have a passive voice problem.
(Though it sounds like something you would find stuck in a drain, the ugly neologism blog is a contraction of "web log.") Until recently, I had not spent much time thinking about blogs or Blog People."Something you would find stuck in a drain" Heh. That's actually pretty good. "Blog People," though? Ugh. So he hasn't had much experience with bloggers? Well, thanks to this piece, he's about to get some.
Here we're presented with a very odd contradiction. The president of a library association is decrying how easy it is to retrieve information. Information shouldn't be available to the masses! It should stay safely ensconced in a library, where people like Gorman can choose what books to put on the shelves. I do like the idea of being in a subculture, though. Maybe I should get a tattoo and buy a motorcycle jacket.
I had heard of the activities of the latter and of the absurd idea of giving them press credentials (though, since the credentials were issued for political conventions, they were just absurd icing on absurd cakes). I was not truly aware of them until shortly after I published an op-ed piece in the Los Angeles Times ("Google and God's Mind," December 17, 2004). Then, thanks to kind friends with nothing but my welfare in mind, I rapidly learned more about the blog subcultures.
My piece had the temerity to question the usefulness of Google digitizing millions of books and making bits of them available via its notoriously inefficient search engine. The Google phenomenon is a wonderfully modern manifestation of the triumph of hope and boosterism over reality. Hailed as the ultimate example of information retrieval, Google is, in fact, the device that gives you thousands of "hits" (which may or may not be relevant) in no very useful order.
Those characteristics are ignored and excused by those who think that Google is the creation of "God's mind," because it gives the searcher its heaps of irrelevance in nanoseconds. Speed is of the essence to the Google boosters, just as it is to consumers of fast "food," but, as with fast food, rubbish is rubbish, no matter how speedily it is delivered.Funny, considering the first hit I got after typing "Michael Gorman" into a search engine was his website. When I type "The Prince" into Google, I get this, and quickly. When I type "US Constitution" I get this. Has Gorman ever actually used Google? I mean, it's a search engine for crying out loud. Sure, sometimes it gives you crap results. You just have to refine the search.
In the eyes of bloggers, my sin lay in suggesting that Google is OK at giving access to random bits of information but would be terrible at giving access to the recorded knowledge that is the substance of scholarly books. I went further and came up with the unoriginal idea that the thing to do with a scholarly book is to read it, preferably not on a screen. It turns out that the Blog People (or their subclass who are interested in computers and the glorification of information) have a fanatical belief in the transforming power of digitization and a consequent horror of, and contempt for, heretics who do not share that belief.Wow. This sounds like the full-throated rant of a guy who googled his own name and was disappointed at what he found. "What!?! I'm not in this search engine thingy? Well then, it's useless!" And I agree with him about books - for me, the computer screen will never replace the feeling of opening the cover of a book I've never read before. Those who get their information entirely from the computer are missing out on this feeling, I think. Of course, rather than share that feeling and inspire others toward it, Gorman insults his readers. Nice guy.
How could I possibly be against access to the world's knowledge? Of course, like most sane people, I am not against it and, after more than 40 years of working in libraries, am rather for it. I have spent a lot of my long professional life working on aspects of the noble aim of Universal Bibliographic Control - a mechanism by which all the world's recorded knowledge would be known, and available, to the people of the world. My sin against bloggery is that I do not believe this particular project will give us anything that comes anywhere near access to the world's knowledge.So if we can't have all of the world's knowledge, we should get none of it? What Google and the Internet provide is more access, not total access. There's a lot of knowledge in the world, and a network of interconnected computers seems a pretty good way to store and distribute it. Or at least a good beginning.
It is obvious that the Blog People read what they want to read rather than what is in front of them and judge me to be wrong on the basis of what they think rather than what I actually wrote. Given the quality of the writing in the blogs I have seen, I doubt that many of the Blog People are in the habit of sustained reading of complex texts. It is entirely possible that their intellectual needs are met by an accumulation of random facts and paragraphs. In that case, their rejection of my view is quite understandable.Gorman would do well to remember the adage that you attract more flies with honey than vinegar. Rather than explain the appeal of libraries, he's decided it's more effective to call his critics dolts. This intemperate paragraph shows, more than anything else in this piece, the weakness of Gorman's position. If the best he can summon is crude insults, then it's clear he's more interested in lashing out than finding common ground with those who share his thirst for knowledge. Bloggers are obviously interested in ideas, or we wouldn't spend so much time each day sharing our thoughts and reading those of others.
At least two of the blog excerpts sent to me (each written under pseudonyms) come from self-proclaimed "conservatives," which I find odd because many of the others come from people who call me a Luddite and are, presumably, technology-obsessed progressives. The Luddite label is because my mild remarks have been portrayed as those of someone worried about the job security of librarians (I am not) rather than one who has a different point of view on the usefulness of this latest expression of Google hubris and vast expenditure of money involved.Note the scare quotes around the word conservatives. Egad. That was rather unnecessary. Do I use a pseudonym? No. Are psuedonyms always bad? Well, perhaps Gorman can seek knowledge in the works of George Orwell, Mark Twain or Daniel Defoe. Or, as they were probably known by their friends, Eric Blair, Samuel Clements, and Daniel Foe. I don't think Gorman is a Luddite at all. I share his views that digital information cannot replace the amazing resource that is a local library. I don't want libraries to become obsolete, but also think that the advent of digital technology provides a way to get past the filter that exists at so many libraries. What is the filter? Well, the librarians. The filter that orders multiple copies of books by Michael Moore but only one copy of every book by Ann Coulter. And that was just a quick check of two authors on opposite sides of the ideological spectrum. Further searches would likely lead to other instances of this. And it happens in the digital world as well. I link to conservative or libertarian blogs because that's where I happen to visit and read. Like anyone, I read what I agree with. The difference between me and Michael Gorman is that I admit my biases. The ALA does not.
If a fraction of the latter were devoted to buying books and providing librarians for the library-starved children of California, the effort would be of far more use to humanity and society. Perhaps that latter thought will reinforce the opinion of the Blog Person who included "Michael Gorman is an idiot" in his reasoned critique, because no opinion that comes from someone who is "antidigital" (in the words of another Blog Person) could possibly be correct. For the record, though I may have associated with Antidigitalists, I am not and have never been a member of the Antidigitalist party and would be willing to testify to that under oath. I doubt even that would save me from being burned at the virtual stake, or, at best, being placed in a virtual pillory to be pelted with blogs. Ugh!Ugh indeed. Should a blogger have called Gorman an "idiot?" No. But how is that different in tone from Gorman's earlier comment - "I doubt that many of the Blog People are in the habit of sustained reading of complex texts." It's really not. One just uses more graceful language. The library has always been a refuge for me. I love going into our local library and just walking through the stacks. I love the feel and smell of books and the thrill of starting a new book. I think Google and the internet are a great source of information, but they cannot replace the complexity of a book. Gorman has the right ideas, but is terrible at communicating them. Note how at the end he resorts to the language of the oppressed - he's finding common cause with witches and victims of McCarthy. It's just all so tired. And this is from someone who basically agrees with the guy. Gorman will likely get his blog attention from this piece, but he will not influence many who disagree with him. I count this one as a lost opportunity on Gorman's part - as the president of a library association, he has a unique voice on the importance of libraries and the wonder of the written word. But he squandered it with his retreat into academic snobbery and elitism. -------- AUTHOR: Slublog DATE: 2/25/2005 12:03:00 AM ----- BODY: Link Dump - It's Friday, and I'm uninspired. So for now, here's some stories I found interesting: --Michelle Malkin has transcripts and audio files of Ward Churchill advocating terrorism. It's like the guy wants to get fired. --"Jack Dunphy" of National Review has a story about police caught in a web of racial politics. --Ann is on fire. --Lileks gives a spirited defense of the iPod. --A story in the American Spectator deals with a case of unintended consequences. --Larry Sabato says Hillary's chances in '08 really aren't that good. More blogging when the writer's block goes away. -------- AUTHOR: Slublog DATE: 2/25/2005 12:03:00 AM ----- BODY: Slow News - Sorry for the lack of blogging updates yesterday. Although I took the day off from work, I had a rather full day. I took my father to a doctor's appointment in the morning, since they were going to give him drugs that would make driving unsafe. In the afternoon, I spent some quality time playing "Halo 2" with friends. My multiplayer profile is named "Fodder" and for good reason. I didn't win a single multiplayer match and in fact ended up with absolutely zero kills on one level. It was time well spent regardless. Blogging may be light today, as I have some slight makeup to do and have to finish a talk for a youth retreat I'm speaking at next week. I have a massive case of writer's block on that talk, though, so it's slow going. -------- AUTHOR: Slublog DATE: 2/24/2005 12:14:00 PM ----- BODY: "The Truth Is Out There" - A post by Iowahawk mocks the conspiracy mongering on the left regarding the connection between Karl Rove and Jeff Guckert/Gannon. (H/T: Ace) The whole thing sounds like an episode of the X-Files, doesn't it? I'll bet a poster like this hangs on Kos' wall:
We are a nation that is unenlightened because of religion. I do believe that. I think that religion stops people from thinking. I think it justifies crazies. I think flying planes into a building was a faith-based initiative. I think religion is a neurological disorder. They don't have to be evangelical, but they're religious. They believe in religion, which as - I think it was Jesse Ventura who had that quote about religion is a crutch for weak-minded people who need strength in numbers.Yup, I'm a regular wallflower who can't be without the soothing environment provided by my fellow weak minded Christians. I would love to be able to go into a full-throated rant about Maher and his comments, but I just don't have it in me. Partially because it's late and I'm finally starting to get tired; but more because I just feel sorry for Maher. Could you imagine going through life that angry? I used to watch Maher's show and often wondered one thing above all else, though - how on earth did such an unfunny man get labeled a comedian? Only in America. -------- AUTHOR: Slublog DATE: 2/24/2005 12:21:00 AM ----- BODY: Checking Up on the League - I recently heard a speaker at church who mentioned the Christian Civic League of Maine, so I decided to visit their website. The League has lost a great deal of political clout over the past few years thanks to the uncontrolled mouth of its executive director, Michael Heath, and the refusal of the organization's board to fire him. If you look over the League's online daily newspaper, you'll see a disturbing trend that I've mentioned again and again on this blog as something of an obsession with evangelical social conservatives - homosexuality. This is the issue that got Heath in so much trouble, and the League's single-minded focus on it will likely mean the end of what was once a fine organization. How obsessed are these guys with gays? One writer even took the recent injury of our governor and turned it into a post about how men were meant to marry women. Seriously. It has to be read to be believed - these guys couldn't just wish Governor Baldacci well, they had to throw in a little lecture. It's a disturbing display of ungraciousness. Personally, I think the League is finished as a political force in the state and will close its doors in the next few years. I would say such an event is unfortunate, but I wouldn't mean it. Better for Maine to have no Christian civic organization than have one with such warped priorities. -------- AUTHOR: Slublog DATE: 2/23/2005 10:04:00 PM ----- BODY: Grrr... - So I'm watching Mythbusters and the guys are about to blow up a cement truck they filled with explosives. It's three minutes before the end of the show...the countdown begins...and the screen goes red. Adelphia decided the very end of a television show was the perfect time to run the test. I missed the big boom, and am quite perturbed. They couldn't run the test during the half-hour long break...noooo...that would take time away from all of the stupid "gun crime" and "Lewis and Clark" commercials. Like so many companies in Maine, Adelphia really needs some competition. -------- AUTHOR: Slublog DATE: 2/23/2005 08:12:00 PM ----- BODY: Who Are the Bloggers? - Frank J. at IMAO has a great test for bloggers to introduce themselves to the mainstream media:
Bloggers are ordinary people, many of them uneducated and with nothing interesting to say.Dang. Ted Rall doesn't find blogs like this one interesting. I guess that's one life goal never to be realized. I love how he throws out the "uneducated" insult. Hey, Ted. I have a bachelors in journalism and a masters in public administration. I don't want to be a snob, but since you brought it up, that's a bit more education than you have.
They're sitting in their rec rooms, regurgitating and spinning what real journalists have dug up through hard work.Actually, we do a lot of digging ourselves. Rathergate wasn't broken because we depended upon the MSM. Neither was the Eason Jordan story. I don't think Ted actually reads blogs. And, for the record, I don't have a rec room. I blog from the couch.
They don't have sources, they don't report, and no one holds them accountable when they make mistakes or flat out lie.If I remember correctly, Bill from INDC actually interviewed a source during the Dan Rather story. In the Eason Jordan story, other bloggers were either in the room when Jordan made his comments or interviewed people who were. We may not have the range of sources that jouralists have, but as the medium grows more popular as a form of news gathering, the sources will grow.
Yeah, there's a new sheriff in town. Unfortunately he's drunk, he's mean, and he works for the bad guys.Ah, the rub. We're bad because we disagree with the mighty Ted Rall. Sorry, Ted. We're just not good enough to mock dead soldiers or the families of September 11 victims. Guess that takes special talent. -------- AUTHOR: Slublog DATE: 2/23/2005 08:45:00 AM ----- BODY: John Kerry - Still the most liberal member of the Senate. And he wants to run again. -------- AUTHOR: Slublog DATE: 2/23/2005 08:44:00 AM ----- BODY: Ouch - Matthew Scully, former Bush speechwriter and author of a fantastic book on cruelty to animals, has reviewed Christine Todd Whitman's "It's My Party, Too." The results aren't pretty:
Some fair points could have been made here about the excesses of some, but making them would have required intellectual and moral engagement. For Whitman and the cliche-smith who assisted her, it's enough to strike the appropriate attitudes and supply the appropriate code words.I don't care who is in office, or what party they belong to. I think it's disgusting when former administration officials leave office then write tell-all books about the men who gave them the high-profile job of a lifetime. Whitman saw the opportunity for a twofer - revenge and money - and took it. I hope she makes a lot of money from the book, since stabbing a president in the back doesn't increase one's political job prospects. -------- AUTHOR: Slublog DATE: 2/23/2005 08:42:00 AM ----- BODY: Where Your Treasure Is - My friend Joe and I had a good email conversation yesterday about the nature of wealth based on this post. Lately, I've been struck by just how much we have here in the United States. Joe brought up a good saying in his email - "a rich man eats when he pleases, a poor man eats when he can." We are a wealthy country. Our debates over the 'haves versus have nots' would be laughable to someone living in other countries, as our 'have nots' are sometimes rich compared to those who literally have nothing. I realize how stupid it is when I open my fridge and complain that there's nothing to eat. Now, I'm not writing this to sound holier than thou, or to make anyone feel guilty for what they have. The wealth of the United States is a blessing, and a curse. A blessing for obvious reasons - our material quality of life is among the highest in the world. A curse because that wealth can distract us from what's really important - our relationships with other people, and the need we all have for a relationship with God. I'm writing it because one, it's my blog and I can write whatever I want and two, I think it's important to recognize the responsibilities our weath gives us. To whom much is given, much is required. Americans showed their generosity after the tsunami disaster hit southern Asia. At the risk of sounding like Sally Struthers, I would encourage readers to do more. It's something to think about while enjoying the many luxuries that living in this country provides. -------- AUTHOR: Slublog DATE: 2/22/2005 05:42:00 PM ----- BODY: Kurtz on Bloggers? - My local news just ran a story on bloggers by CNN's Howard Kurtz. Interviewed in the piece were Paul Mirengoff, Jeff Jarvis and the blogosphere's only self-loather, Ana Marie Cox. It's been said before and I'll say it here again - Ana Marie Cox (Wonkette) is to the blogsophere what Jerry Falwell is to evangelicals. She's the person that always gets interviewed as representative of what bloggers are like, even though many bloggers don't actually seem to like her all that much. -------- AUTHOR: Slublog DATE: 2/22/2005 12:45:00 AM ----- BODY: Defending the UN - The secretary-general of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, says the world body still had a vital role to play in today's world. His defense of the organization he leads is unconvincing. The article runs nearly 1600 words. Of those, fewer than 100 deal with the oil-for-food scandal, and the words Annan does use are dismissive. He calls the affair "overblown" and blames the scandal on "ethical lapses and lax management." Annan spends only about 70 words talking about the allegations of sexual abuse made by refugees in the Congo. Most of the article is spent trying to extol the virtues of the United Nations. That Annan feels the need to do this shows just how tenuous is the UN's position with the American people. Glenn Reynolds recently pointed out how unpopular the UN is with citizens of this country. The organization is in danger of losing its moral authority, assuming of course that it hasn't lost it already. Some of Annan's arguments simply don't make sense. Take, for instance, this paragraph on Iraq:
Even the scars left by past differences can be turned into today's opportunities. Precisely because the United Nations did not agree on some earlier actions in Iraq, today it has much needed credibility with, and access to, Iraqi groups who must agree to join in the new political process if peace is to prevail. The U.N. can be useful because it is seen as independent and impartial. If it ever came to be seen as a mere instrument or prolongation of U.S. foreign policy, it would be worthless to everyone.So the organization that fought against the liberation of Iraqis is the only one with the ability to ensure the success of their future democracy? The UN has no credibility on Iraq, because it did everything in its power to prevent the war that led to a free Iraq - Annan even called the war a violation of international law. How is that independent or impartial? So what does Annan propose? Well, after spending most of his time singing the virtues of the UN, this is all he has to say:
In my eight years as secretary-general, I had already done a lot - with the support of member states, often led by the U.S. - to make the U.N. more coherent and efficient. Now we need to make it more transparent and accountable - not only to diplomats representing member governments, but also directly to the public.And that's it. I don't disagree with Annan here, but think he's understating the degree of the problem with the UN. The major problem isn't that the UN is secretive - the major problem is that it is a democratic organization that allows anti-democratic states to use the democratic process to deny democracy to their people. In the UN, countries led by fear and murder get just as much say in the General Assembly as countries led by the consent of the governed. It's moral equivalence in action. It is that fact which makes the UN such a deeply dysfunctional organization. What Kofi doesn't realize is that it's not recent scandals that strip the UN of moral authority - the very structure of the organization has prevented it from ever possessing it. -------- AUTHOR: Slublog DATE: 2/22/2005 12:38:00 AM ----- BODY: Wealth is Wasted on the Rich - An antique penny was sold at auction for $437,000. Yes, a nearly half-million dollar penny. Don't get me wrong, I'm all in favor of capitalism and such, but surely there's got to be a better use for half a mil then to buy a really old coin. -------- AUTHOR: Slublog DATE: 2/22/2005 12:05:00 AM ----- BODY: A Trip Through the Fever Swamps - Found on Daily Kos:
"The best political journalist ever is dead.It scares me. Speculation isn't appropriate, but what did he know that we don't? I mean, this guy was one crazy [expletive]." "His blood is also on Bush's hands Probably just couldn't accept life with four more years of Bush. Guess he chose to take the easy way out. May he rest in peace."Yup. These are representative of the two reactions to the death of Hunter S. Thompson. Some say he was killed by mysterious forces (the posters on DU are more forthright in their statements - some of them simply state that Thompson was "suicided" by the Bushes). The second reaction is to assume that Thompson was despondent over the election. I look forward to the inevitable story by Dana Milbank, ominously asking these questions... -------- AUTHOR: Slublog DATE: 2/22/2005 12:03:00 AM ----- BODY: Newsmagazines Hurting - Variety is reporting that network newsmagazines are declining in the ratings and some may be cancelled soon. Good riddance. My disdain for newsmagazines is not because I think they tend to have a liberal bias or because they are mindless scaremongers who try to make people fear, well, everything. It's quite simply because most of them are no different from sitcoms in how formulaic they are. Different stories are told in the same boring way, with the same camera angles and tricks and the same oh-so-serious tone on the part of the reporter. I'm not comfortable with the idea of news, especially when that news is about topics like murder, disease or danger, being packaged as entertainment, with slick graphics and pretty newsreaders. It seems to me some stories just shouldn't be transformed into melodrama. -------- AUTHOR: Slublog DATE: 2/21/2005 06:10:00 PM ----- BODY: Playlist Check - Thanks to my wife and her Valentine's Day gift of the Greatest Gadget in the World, I have more opportunities than ever to listen to music. It's nice, having your entire mp3 collection at work or in the car. So what have I been listening to while blogging this week? "Let Go" by Frou Frou - Fell in love with this song when I heard it in the trailers for Garden State. I have absolutely no idea what it means, but it's a fun listen. "Sometimes You Can't Make it On Your Own" by U2 - Bono wrote this for his Dad, who was dying of cancer. Heartwrenching song with some amazing guitar work by The Edge. "America" by Josh Groban - Groban's remake of the Simon and Garfunkel classic. The guy can sing. "The Narrow" by Charity Von - Guitar rock and roll. "My Help" by Michael Card - An acapella treatment of Psalm 121, in Hebrew and English. I sang it last Good Friday and may sing it again this year. Well, enough of this. Time to do some serious couch-sitting. -------- AUTHOR: Slublog DATE: 2/21/2005 05:59:00 PM ----- BODY: Snow-Break - My Monday nights are usually spent helping out with our church's youth group. Tonight, thanks to the snow, I get a night off. It's not too horrible out there, but when dealing with teen drivers, it's best to err on the side of caution. Plus, it is nice to have the break. I mean, can you imagine dealing week after week with 30 sniveling little...oh, wait...some of them read this blog. Never mind. -------- AUTHOR: Slublog DATE: 2/21/2005 03:45:00 PM ----- BODY: Gannon/Guckert - Joe Carter of the Evangelical Outpost has an excellent post on the savaging of Jeff Gannon/Guckert. The obsession with Gannon's homosexuality by bloggers like Kos, Atrios and Oliver Willis contrasts nicely with the recently released George W. Bush tapes in which the future president says he refuses to "kick gays." But remember - liberals are the tolerant ones. -------- AUTHOR: Slublog DATE: 2/21/2005 10:17:00 AM ----- BODY: "Unity" - Am I the only person who doesn't think President Bush has to apologize for a thing on his European trip? The media is portraying this trip as the president's "fence-mending" tour through Europe, as though he should go humbly before the Exalted Ones and beg forgiveness for U.S. foreign policy. If Jacques Chirac and Gerhard Schroeder had any class, they would be on a tour through Iraq, apologizing to the Iraqi people for France and Germany's opposition to their liberation. They would apologize to the Iraqis for their support of Saddam's regime through their inaction in the United Nations and through trade deals with the dictator. They would beg forgiveness for looking the other way while Saddam and his sons led through murder, torture and rape. To the media and many on the left, Chirac and Schroeder are heroes in the narrative of the Iraq war. I hope that years from now, when Iraq is a full-functioning democracy and a model to the Middle East, these men are viewed with the disdain they have so richly earned as obstacles to freedom. -------- AUTHOR: Slublog DATE: 2/21/2005 09:43:00 AM ----- BODY: The Quasi-Holiday - What is the point of President's Day? Or Columbus Day? Sometimes I think there's a big federal office containing the "Make Stuff Up to Get a Day Off" department. And, no, I didn't get the day off... -------- AUTHOR: Slublog DATE: 2/21/2005 09:37:00 AM ----- BODY: When in Doubt... - Keith Olbermann is blogging about Jeff Gannon. This is the same guy who complained about reporters digging into Clinton's sexual past. Guess things are different when the subject is a relatively unknown conservative. -------- AUTHOR: Slublog DATE: 2/21/2005 09:37:00 AM ----- BODY: Whoa - Could you imagine being this paranoid? A Democratic Congressman is accusing Karl Rove of orchestrating Rathergate. And he's serious. This is yet another piece of evidence that Michael Moore represents the soul of the Democratic party. If the Democrats want to move forward as a party, they cannot have Moore dragging them down. His love of conspiracy theories and his uncanny ability to make facts fit his agenda are traits the Democrats have embraced wholeheartedly. The party would really be better off developing an agenda instead of trying to blame Karl Rove and President Bush for their bad luck. By the way, isn't it interesting that the Congressman sees bad press for the media as a partisan issue? -------- AUTHOR: Slublog DATE: 2/20/2005 03:34:00 PM ----- BODY: Okay... - The Bush tapes story is interesting, from a voyeuristic point of view, but is is really worth main window status? MSNBC seems to believe so, proving once again that when it comes to making decisions about news judgment, executives seem to ask just one question - will it hurt the president? --------