Tuesday, November 30, 2004
Monday, November 29, 2004
But he wants fiction, so fiction it is.
Several years back I read the Richard Price novel Clockers (since made into a movie, by Spike Lee). It's a riveting account of a young drug dealer and the cop who nabs him. Price spent years on the streets researching the novel, and reading it is as close as I will ever want to come to that life. It's an amazing work, worth both reading and re-reading.
Hugh mentioned Tom Wolfe.
I recently read through (again) The Bonfire Of The Vanities. I'd been put off the book after watching the dreadful movie adaptation by Brian De Palma, with Tom Hanks and Bruce Willis, but don't make that mistake. If you've only seen the movie, you should read the book to banish the film images from your mind. Whereas the movie tried to play the story with a smart-aleck nod and a wink, the book was much darker, and far more interesting. It's a very good read.
(I haven't always been so lucky with Wolfe. I've tried to make my way through A Man In Full several times, but haven't been successful. But I do want to give I Am Chalotte Simmons a try.)
But why only Modern Novels? If you're looking for things you probably haven't read - but should - try these two:
Most college students are familiar with Theodore Dreiser's first novel Sister Carrie. An even better Dreiser novel, though less well-known, is his second offering, Jenny Gerhardt. While Dreiser's style could be clumsy, at times - he often spent way too many pages in subsequent novels piling up minutiae that did not advance his story - Jenny Gerhardt ranks with the best of the best in American literature. A copy is available online here, for free.
OK, he wasn't a novelist, but he's worth a mention: Ring Lardner was one of the finest writers of the American Short Story, every bit as good as Mark Twain and O. Henry. His stuff seems a little dated today, given that he employed many colloquialisms that have long since gone out of style, but his stories are wonderful, nonetheless. You Know Me, Al and The Golden Honeymoon are two grand examples of the Lardner style, online and free.
Saturday, November 27, 2004
Friday, November 26, 2004
Thursday, November 25, 2004
Yahweh, Yeshua and Paraclete
A modicum of good health
Employment (no matter how dreary)
A friend or three
My Macintosh computers
Dubyuh's ongoing leadership in the War On Terror
The Armed Forces of the United States
Freedom for Iraq and Afghanistan
Dubyuh's big win
The courage of the Swift Boat Veterans
And the 60 million Smart Ones who voted for Dubyuh's re-election
The Northern Alliance, and LGF
The Good Guys
My personal library
Our public library
Decent quality digital cameras
The House Of Love
The Innocence Mission
The heritage and legacy of my citizenship
The heritage and legacy of my upbringing
Cherry Pepsi and/or Coke
Vanilla Chocolate Chip Hagen Daz
Free Wi-Fi Coffee Shops
Those who read Blogizdat regularly
Blogspot being (still) free
On this National Day of Thanksgiving I am thankful for each of the above-named things and persons. H.L. Mencken points out one more: the thermostat. After re-reading the piece that follows during the week past, I realized just how right he was. And so I add it to my list.
The following is excerpted from A Mencken Chrestomathy, and was published originally in The American Mercury, in January of 1931.
Of all the inventions of modern times the one that has given me most comfort and joy is one that is seldom heard of, to wit, the thermostat. I was amazed, some time ago, to hear that it was invented at least a generation ago. I first heard of it during the War of 1914-18, when some kind friend suggested that I throw out the coal furnace that was making steam in my house and put in a gas furnace. Naturally enough, I hesitated, for the human mind is so constituted. But the day I finally succumbed must remain ever memorable in my annals, for it saw me move at one leap from an inferno into a sort of paradise. The patriotic anthracite men loaded their culm-piles on cars, and sold them to householders all over the East. Not a furnace-man was in practise in my neighborhood: all of them were working in the shipyards at $15 a day. So I had to shovel coal myself, and not only shovel coal, but sift ashes. It was a truly dreadul experience. Worse, my house was always either too hot or too cold. When a few pieces of actual coal appeared in the mass of slate the temperature leaped up to 85 degrees, but most of the time it was between 45 and 50.
The thermostat changed all that, and in an instant. I simply set it at 68 degrees, and went about my business. Whenever the temperature in the house went up to 70 it automatically turned off the gas under the funace in the cellar, and there was an immediate return to 68. And if the mercury, keeping on, dropped to 66, then the gas went on again, and the temperature was soon 68 once more. I began to feel like a man liberated from the death-house. I was never too hot or too cold. I had no coal to heave, no ashes to sift. My house became so clean that I could wear a shirt five days. I began to feel like work, and rapidly turned out a series of imperishable contributions to the national letters. My temper improved so vastly that my family began to suspect senile changes. Moreover, my cellar became as clean as the rest of the house, and as roomy as a barn. I enlarged my wine-room by 1000 cubic meters. I put in a cedar closet big enough to hold my whole wardrobe. I added a vault for papers, a carpenter shop, and a praying chamber.
For all these boons and usufructs I was indebted to the inventor of the thermostat, a simple device but incomparable. I'd print his name here, but unfortunately I forget it. He was one of the great benefactors of humanity. I wouldn't swap him for a dozen Marconis, a regiment of Bells, or a whole army corps of Edisons. Edison's life-work, like his garrulous and non-sensical talk, has been mainly a curse to humanity: he has greatly augmented its stock of damned nuisances. But man who devised the thermostat, at all events in my private opinion, was a hero comparable to Shakespeare, Michelangelo or Beethoven.
Happy Thanksgiving, and thanks for reading.
Wednesday, November 24, 2004
The chief objection to the New England Puritans, of course, is . . . that they cursed the country with crude cookery and uneatable victuals. The pumpkin pie, clam chowder, the mince pie, pork and beans--these are some of the awful things we have inherited from those gross amd chilblained moralists. The common notion that they also gave us roast turkey, with its attendant sauce of cranberries, is an error arising out of the imbecility of the persons who manufacture covers for the November magazines. As a matter of fact, the turkey was unknown in New England until the downfall of the theocracy and the repeal of the blue laws against intellectual eating. The customary Thanksgiving fowl, in witch-burning days, was the common jack rabbit, with the puddle duck as an occasional variant. The turkey, as every sophomore in victuality is aware, really hails from Virginia, and the cranberry from the miasmatic marshes of New Jersey...
And yet somehow carving the Thanksgiving Rabbit just wouldn't feel right, would it?
(Don't blame me. I'm just the reporter. And anyways, I'm a Mac user. In the first place, we don't need training CD-ROM; our machines are easy to use. But in the second place, we're all about our beloved Macs, not attractive young women in bikinis. Okay? Now pass me a Dew.)
Tuesday, November 23, 2004
Ode to Cheese
by Simon Whitehead
Oh cheddar, Gruyer, Smoked and Brie
I wish to write my ode to thee
You keep me stuffed throughout the night
I'm happy at your smell and sight
Cheese in a pack, cheese in a box
The cheesey smell from my old socks
I just can't get enough of you
My cheese, I declare my love so true
I guess Britney's got company.
Monday, November 22, 2004
In the process of reviewing the Feedster site, I found links to several other sites that might be interest to Bloggers, some well-known, some not: Blo.gs, Weblogs, Blogtracker, Blogrolling, as well as this extensive listing of Blogging Tools.
I also recently found a great unofficial Blogger FAQ, containing lots of great hints and info.
Kevin Sites is the cameraman who filmed the footage of a Marine shooting an Iraqi detainee last week. On his blog, he posts an open letter to the Devil Dogs of the 3.1, whom he was with when he shot the footage. It's a sobering piece, and I urge you to read it. (Sites also has some photos of the battle for Falluja.)
Sunday, November 21, 2004
Saturday, November 20, 2004
(I'm still trying to figure out what this and that have to do with anything - although I don't really care enough to join, or play. It sounds like another ILoveBees-Halo2 viral marketing scheme, to me. Not that there's anything wrong with that. I'm thinking the ManInBlack is either Johnny Cash or John Kerry. If you're that interested and want to take a peek, scroll down here for a list of the various websites that link into all this.)
Two authors of early Mac games have made their work available free-of-charge on their websites: John Calhoun's Glider Pro is available for both OS X and Classic, and Cliff Johnson's Fool's Errand, At The Carnival and 3 In Three are available for Classic only. (Mr. Johnson also has a version of each of those games that runs under Windows, using an older 30-day demo of the Executor Mac Emulator, also at his site.)
Why? Just to see if it can be done. And because I can.
The Soft PC part is especially silly, since I have a perfectly good copy of Connectix's Virtual PC 5.0 - now shipping from Microsoft as Virtual PC 7.0 - running on my iBook, that emulates a Pentium III (I believe) and is able to run Windows 98 fast enough to be passably useful for alot of Wintel programs that I may need to run from time to time.
Regarding the vMac installation, however, there's a wee bit of method to the madness. There are dozens of programs - many now freely available on the net - written for the early Macs that simply won't run on today's machines, especially those running OS X. And even those that will run do not always run correctly.
Even though I have an ancient Mac Plus sitting in the basement that I could use for running those old programs, it's a slow machine that's a bit of a hassle to get up and running. With vMac, the whole virtual machine boots in under 15 seconds, and can be expanded to full-screen mode with a couple of key strokes. Try doing that on a Mac Plus.
(If you are running an older Mac, or if you should wish to use vMac, Jagshouse is a great resource for Classic Macs, and Mac 68K Games and Macintosh Garden have plenty of old titles for download. Many of the games are freely available in the public domain, or as open-source, but some aren't. Don't believe those who'll tell you that ab*ndonware is entirely legal; it isn't. But if you still own copies of these old Mac games on 400k and 800k floppies - like I do - that won't even run in modern floppy drives, and are downloading a disk image for use with an emulator, I don't believe that is illegal to do so. It is certainly legal to download the public domain, shareware and open-source stuff.)
Also, just for fun, I installed (under vMac) a copy of MacMinix, a Mac-only implementation of the Minix operating system, a stripped-down version of Unix that used to be used alot in classrooms. It has fallen out of use, but its advantage over Linix - or even Terminal under OS X - is that it is entirely self-contained, and one can experiment with its Unix environment to one's heart's content, without worrying about damaging the host OS in the process. It runs well.
Okay, enough of that. I'll try to find something to post later for all you non-geeks. G'day.
Friday, November 19, 2004
When I arrive at such a state, what better elixir for the Blogging Blues than to turn to Henry Louis Mencken for inspiration - or at least for a source of plunder. In the following passage excerpted from Prejudics, First Series, published in 1919, Mencken considers the new sexual frankness in vogue during that Golden Age, and finds matters less than satisfactory. Read on:
In America, at least, innocence has been killed, and romance has been sadly wounded by the same discharge of smutty artillery. The flapper is no longer naïve and charming; she goes to the altar of God with a learned and even cynical glitter in her eye. The school-girl of to-day, fed upon Forel, Sylvanus Stall, Reginald Wright Kauffman and the Freud books, knows as much as the midwife of 1885, and spends a good deal more time discharging and disseminating her information. All this, of course, is highly embarrassing to the more romantic and ingenuous sort of men, of whom I have the honor to be one. We are constantly in the position of General Mitchener in Shaw's one-acter, "Press Cuttings," when he begs Mrs. Farrell, the talkative charwoman, to reserve her confidences for her medical adviser. One often wonders, indeed, what women now talk of to doctors....
Please do not misunderstand me here. I do not object to this New Freedom on moral grounds, but on æsthetic grounds. In the relations between the sexes all beauty is founded upon romance, all romance is founded upon mystery, and all mystery is founded upon ignorance, or, failing that, upon the deliberate denial of the known truth. To be in love is merely to be in a state of perceptual anæsthesia - to mistake an ordinary young man for a Greek god or an ordinary young woman for a goddess. But how can this condition of mind survive the deadly matter-of-factness which sex hygiene and the new science of eugenics impose? How can a woman continue to believe in the honor, courage and loving tenderness of a man after she has learned, perhaps by affidavit, that his hemoglobin count is 117%, that he is free from sugar and albumen, that his blood pressure is 112/79 and that his Wassermann reaction is negative?... Moreover, all this new-fangled "frankness" tends to dam up, at least for civilized adults, one of the principal well-springs of art, to wit, impropriety. What is neither hidden nor forbidden is seldom very charming. If women, continuing their present tendency to its logical goal, end by going stark naked, there will be no more poets and painters, but only dermatologists and photographers....
Sounds like Mencken had it just about right.
Can't add much to that, except to point out that although Madame Santa does appear to sport a fine pair of gams, those are boots, my good buddy - they're hardly stilettos. Still, it was a witty line, without dipping into the vulgarity. T'was a fine attempt, Jinx, my good sir, and it appears to have brought you fame. Merry Christmas.
Thursday, November 18, 2004
Wednesday, November 17, 2004
So, which applies best: Luke 6:27 or Revelation 3:16?
In particular, Rush was livid about a virulantly racist syndicated cartoon by Oliphant, lampooning Dr. Rice as the Mammy from 'Gone With The Wind,' which Rush describes as follows:
It is Condoleezza Rice sitting in a rocking chair with her facial features once again exaggerated in a stereotypical fashion... There are empty aluminum tubes sitting next to her that have smiley faces on them. She is holding one of these aluminum tubes and is attempting to go feed it with a bottle. I kid you not. She is barefoot with her legs spread, and she says, "I knows all about aluminum tubes," [sic] and then, "Correction: "I don't know nunthin' about aluminum tubes..." I guess this has to do with weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and centrifuges and so forth. I really have no idea, but it doesn't matter. He's got some dumb black woman sitting barefoot obviously in a rocking chair trying to feed aluminum tubes with a bottle, saying, "I knows all about aluminum tubes."
Rush is right. It is offensive. It isn't funny. And it isn't clever. It is just ignorant and racist, the kind of ignorant racism that the media would crucify conservatives for, if those conservatives were foolish and ignorant enough to display. (Remember, Trent Lott was crucified for toasting former segregationist Strom Thurmond at Thurmond's 100th birthday party.)
I was pleased and impressed that Rush was deluged by African-American callers who were as outraged by this as he was. Sure, most of them are probably already disposed to seeing things Rush's way, by virtue of the fact that they listen to his show. But, in any case, they were all indignant at the treatment to which Dr. Rice is being subjected.
(One minor quibble: on his show Rush complained that the use of the word 'learnt' - from a British article that mocked Bush, saying everything the President has learnt about foreign policy has come from Dr. Rice - is mocking American Black colloquial English; it is not. 'Learnt' is a perfectly good past tense - and participle - of the verb 'to learn,' as I suspect Rush has learnt since.)
The Bully Is Back
Feeling blue in a red state
I'm Revolting, and I'm Sorry
We must all hang together...
I wanted to write to you about two things that I saw yesterday, within about 20 minutes of each other: one was one of the more disturbing things I've ever seen, the other was one of the more glorious things I've ever seen.
Last night after work, when I got to my parking ramp, there were cops all over the place. They were investigating an apparent suicide jump off the top of the 8-story structure. The deceased's body was still on the sidewalk by the entrance to the ramp, lying face-down in a pool of blood. He was a white male, probably in his early to mid-twenties. I couldn't tell anything else about him and none of the police would talk.
What could possibly have gone so wrong in his life that he felt compelled to end it this way?
(One of the parking attendents did tell me that that he'd heard the guy had left a wife and kids in California to come to the midwest to look for work, but there was nothing in the news last night or this morning about him or his apparent suicide.)
Then, on the way home, I looked up and, in the East, saw the most phenomenal double-rainbow I have ever seen, stretching from horizen to horizen, with colors so bright they looked almost unreal. It was amazingly beautiful. I've never seen anything like it before.
As soon as I got home I scooped up my three year-old daughter up and called to my wife to get in the car. We drove about a mile east of our house where we could see it better. All the way home the little lass kept repeating: "rainbow, rainbow..."
I kept thinking if only the dead young man could have just waited a half hour more, might seeing that amazing rainbow have altered his state of mind enough to keep him from jumping? No one will ever know.
Tuesday, November 16, 2004
Mom appeared to be in her late twenties, and looked a bit like a low-rent Rose McGowan. She was wearing a very low-cut chiffon-like yellow-green blouse and tight leather pants, laced up the side, that showed a band of skin at least an inch wide from belt to cuff. (I swear, Mom couldn't have been wearing anything but a thong under all that.)
Dad, for his part, looked a little like one of Sean Penn's trailer-park cousins, wearing a flowing purple shirt and a leather vest, sporting small owlish-looking wire-rimmed glasses. He looked so slight that I wondered if even I couldn't have taken him.
What was most incongrous and bizarre, however: both Mom and Dad were wearing bigass pentagram medallions on chains around their necks that made them look like extras from an old Run-DMC video.
And the little kid - who looked to be no more than six - was wearing blue jeans, sneakers and a tee shirt; he looked for the world like an utterly normal kid-next-door. I have to wonder if even at his tender age, he was feeling a little creeped out by his parents.
In the end, I suppose, there was nothing wrong with any of it, but it seemed a bit of a strange sight for a Walmart on a Saturday. Then again, maybe not.
Mark Heard was a brilliant songwriter and poet who died of a heart attack he suffered onstage in 1992, in his early 40's. He and I corresponded a few times in the mid 1980's, and we actually met and chatted from time to time, at various events. While I didn't consider him a close friend, he was a friendly acquaintance.
He was an incredibly talented man, but like many other talented performers, he was unwilling to work his craft unless he could do it on his own terms. Because of this, he was often misunderstood, and found it hard to make a living in the music business. (He could also be off-putting at times; I once asked to interview him but he turned me down, saying he was concerned he might be misquoted.)
Mark's lyrics - particularly the ones from his last three albums - were at times weary, at other times angry, but always honest and insightful.
While the lyrics from "Second Hand" reveal a man approaching middle age, somewhat worn-down from the day-to-day struggle of living, the lyrics from "Satellite Sky" contain apocalyptic images of deserts, fire, wind and bones, not unlike something from some latter-day Ezekiel, calling the world to account. In fact, his final album had an urgency and foreboding that turned out to be prescient: within months after the release of "Satellite Sky," Mark Heard was dead.
While Mark's music has gained some measure of acceptance in the years since his death, he toiled in obscurity most of his life. Since his passing, his music has been recorded by Bruce Cockburn, Pierce Pettis, Julie and Buddy Miller, The Call and many others. (Olivia Newton-John recorded a song of Mark's on her 1988 CD, "The Rumour," which Mark performed on.)
It's my hope that his biography - together with the release of an all-new collection of unreleased demos recorded just before his death - will gain him and his music some of the exposure, and will introduce him and his music to a new generation of fans. And, in case you should wonder: yes, he really was that good.
Monday, November 15, 2004
Sunday, November 14, 2004
Saturday, November 13, 2004
Hundreds of demonstrators have taken to the streets of the Danish capital, Copenhagen, and two other major cities to protest against the US-led coalition's assault on the Iraqi city of Fallujah.
About 400 people took part in the capital in a torchlight parade to the US embassy, braving rain and freezing cold to chant "Fallujah united will never be defeated".
Me? I'll have a Mocha.
Friday, November 12, 2004
Thursday, November 11, 2004
In the name of God,
Sir, President George W Bush, President of the United States of America.
On behalf of the families of the victims of the mass graves, on behalf of the martyrs of “Halabja” and “Anfal” and on behalf of all the Iraqis that you liberated from dictatorship and oppression; we have prayed for you and now we want to send you our congratulations on being reelected as a president of the United States.
Mr. President, we’d love to congratulate you and the people of the United States on the beginning of a new phase of democracy, freedom and prosperity and we wish you and the American people the best, as they have led the liberation of Iraq and sacrificed their sons and daughters for the freedom of the Iraqis; the historical achievement that the United States has accomplished together with the other liberating countries.
The united States and the coalition, among all other nations were the ones who recognized the suffering of the Iraqi people and saved them from a regime that was more lethal and more destructive than any weapons of mass destruction. A regime that murdered, slaughtered and enslaved Iraqis for long, dark decades, denied them their freedom and their right to live a decent life until God inspired you and helped you to rescue us, liberate our country and put us on the road of freedom and democracy.
Mr. President, we-the Iraqis-are on your side and we’ll keep supporting and blessing your efforts in eradicating terrorism inside and outside Iraq and all those who carried weapons against the liberating coalition forces and the new Iraqi police, hunting down the criminals who murder innocent civilians, whether Iraqi or American civilians.
We-the Iraqis- are determined to establish democracy and freedom in our country starting with general elections that exclude no one whether inside or outside Iraq. These elections would lead us to a democratic Iraq and we wish that you could help focusing on the role of the Iraqis outside Iraq and make use of their qualifications in the reconstruction process.
We also want to emphasize the necessity of establishing an international legislation that incriminates the Ba’athists, terrorists, fanatic salafis and all the parties, and governments that support them, not forgetting the media that promote the ideology of killing and terrorism.
These parties ought to be confronted and fought to achieve peace and stability in Iraq, America and the rest of the world.
We’re also determined to establish a strategic, permanent relationship with our friends; the government and people of the United States to whom we hold the utmost feelings of gratitude, love and friendship for what they have given us and what they’re still offering.
We will be united on the road of freedom and peace and we will always be supportive to all the efforts of America in bringing peace to the region.
In the end, we ask God to guide you and bless all your efforts to do the best for humanity as a whole.
All the glory to the American and Iraqi martyrs
long live America. Long live Iraq, free and allied nations.
Your brothers in the “Iraqi Parliament” voice chat room and in “Sawt Al Iraq” website.
One word: wow!
"...despite the title, this place won't be strictly about vinyl records; the name is intended to capture my propensity for revisiting the pop culture of my youth, and even yours."So, being the pop culture junkie that I am, this kinda dovetails nicely with my daily Lileks fix. Cool.
BTW, Michele admits this post should have been on IHTOV instead of ASV, but it's still a great read.
Wednesday, November 10, 2004
Tuesday, November 09, 2004
BTW, Michael did say one sensible thing on his website this past week, in this post, reason #12 of his 17 Reasons Not to Slit Your Wrists [over the election results]:
"Admit it: We like the Bush twins and we don't want them to go away."
Who could have said it any better?
My favorite line from her post of 11:17 AM, today:
Kerry was like your date on prom night. He promises he will love you tomorrow, but you know once he gets your...umm....vote, he will forget you by breakfast and never call. Lucky for us, most voters kept their prom dress on.
Monday, November 08, 2004
This past weekend I allowed myself to get sucked into a vortex of online incivility - not on Blogger; elsewhere - regarding issues resulting from last week's presidential election. Things ended badly, with name-calling and hurt feelings, and it was all rather silly, actually. I maintain that I was more in the right than the other party, but that doesn't change the fact that I allowed myself, at least in some measure, to sink to their level.
With that said, and without going further into the above-mentioned incident, I was reminded that what we write online can have a very real impact on other people. It is perfectly ok to disagree, even strongly, with others over any number of issues, but things needn't involve rank name-calling and nastiness. Yet, all too often online, it does. We sit down in front of a computer and take on the world, full of piss and vinegar, writing things that we would never say to others in real life, seemingly oblivious to the fact that words can have consequences.
Anyway, while I will not refrain from poking a little fun, or speaking my mind when writing on any issue in this blog, from here on out I am going make an effort to write with a bit more of the civility that I find so lacking in this world of wires and blueteeth. In short, I'm going to try to be a bit more Medved, and a little less Savage.
Sunday, November 07, 2004
The 21-year-old man, who had chained himself to the railway near the city of Nancy, lost a leg after he was crushed by the train and died despite receiving emergency treatment at the scene.
The authorities said the accident happened in the early afternoon in the town of Avricourt after a group of eight people gathered near the main Paris to Strasbourg line, on which the nuclear transport train was travelling.
"After coming out of a corner at reduced speed, the train was apparently confronted with the group, which moved out of the way with the exception of one person, who was hit," a police statement said.
"Despite the arrival of the emergency services at the scene, the young man died of his injuries," the statement said.
"It appears that the demonstrators had not put in place safety measures destined to warn the convoy of their presence,"
Heart trumps head, I guess. Geez.
Saturday, November 06, 2004
And somewhere in Madison, staff members of the The Progressive are sitting around a table, hashing out how to tie this to Bush, Cheney, Ashcroft, Haliburton, and, oh yeah, even Barbara and Jenna. You see, Progressives are indignant about the election. They can't believe anyone could be so stupid as to have voted for That Man. Again. They are better and smarter than you. Really, they are. They will tell you so. And, since they're so smart, they'll figure out how to blame the Cat House on those Right-Wing Demon Spawn. You watch.
For all you geeks and freaks: in spite of the threats, the violence, the cheating, the lawyers, the lies, the vandalism, Leslie is right. We won. You lost. Take a pill. Get over it. As for me, I'm savoring this, and there's nothing you can do to stop that.
BTW, in Leslie's post she linked to a page within a site that I think deserves your consideration: Death By Government. Look around, spend some time. It's a sobering place. (The site is sometimes slow. If it fails to load, check back.)
Friday, November 05, 2004
Victor Davis Hanson wrote a stunning article in NRO, about the meaning of the re-election of George W. Bush.
Michelle, from A Small Victory, has one of the most clear-headed day-after blog posts I've read by the winning side, anywhere; brilliant, in fact.
Jim Treacher, on the other hand, writes drunken (bad) poetry when his side loses.
And last, for this post, is a photo essay, from Zombietime, chronicling a lefist protest march from November 3rd, with love-soaked shout-outs to the President. (Gotta warn you, there's some raw photos.)
Thursday, November 04, 2004
Who was the biggest loser of the 2004 election? It is easy to say Mr. Kerry: he was a poor candidate with a poor campaign. But I do think the biggest loser was the mainstream media, the famous MSM, the initials that became popular in this election cycle. Every time the big networks and big broadsheet national newspapers tried to pull off a bit of pro-liberal mischief--CBS and the fabricated Bush National Guard documents, the New York Times and bombgate, CBS's "60 Minutes" attempting to coordinate the breaking of bombgate on the Sunday before the election--the yeomen of the blogosphere and AM radio and the Internet took them down. It was to me a great historical development in the history of politics in America. It was Agincourt. It was the yeomen of King Harry taking down the French aristocracy with new technology and rough guts. God bless the pajama-clad yeomen of America. Some day, when America is hit again, and lines go down, and media are hard to get, these bloggers and site runners and independent Internetters of all sorts will find a way to file, and get their word out, and it will be part of the saving of our country.
Last note. As much as anyone, the POW wives of Vietnam, who stood against the Democratic nominee for president and for the Republican, can claim credit for the Bush victory. Everyone with a computer in America, and a lot of people with TVs, saw their testimony about the 1970s, and their husbands, and John Kerry. You could not come away from their white-haired, soft-faced, big-eyeglasses visages without thinking: He should not be commander in chief.
Oh, another last note. Tuesday I heard three radio talkers who refused to believe it was over when the ludicrous, and who knows but possibly quite mischievous, exit polls virtually declared a Kerry landslide yesterday afternoon. They are Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham. The last sent me an e-mail that dismissed the numbers as elitist nonsense and propaganda. She is one tough girl and they are two tough men. Savor them too
Bravo, Ms. Noonan.
Wednesday, November 03, 2004
Although both Kerry and the Democrats were soundly repudiated by the results last night, they will live to fight another day. Doubtless the Demos will lick their wounds for a while and come back - sans John Kerry - to the next Congress, ready to obstruct the Republican agenda.
But that's not all bad.
I maintain that a relatively healthy - but chastised - Democratic Party will be good for a Republican majority; it should serve to keep us on our toes, and the sparring should keep us in fighting form.
But not all the leftist troops are taking the loss as saguinely as John Kerry appeared to be taking it.
The (Mar)Kos column in today's Guardian is true to character in its relentless whine. But that's to be expected; Kos is a petty and bitter man. But, like the true PR flack that he is, he's at least engaged in the process. I gotta give him props for that.
Michael Moore's website, on the other hand - at least as of this afternoon - hasn't been updated by anyone but fan emails in nearly 24 hours. There's still a link from yesterday urging, and I quote, 'Wisconsin & Minnesota Slackers - GET TO WORK!' Has Moore been cured of his diarrhea of the mouth? I doubt it. He's may well just be on a bender, or be in a strategy meeting, planning how to capitalize on Dubyuh's second term to sell a few more tickets to his shabby hack films. But the silence is kinda nice.
An aside: I gotta say, there was some kind of sweet irony here in the great state of MinneSoCold: As John Kerry stepped to the podium in Beantown to give his concession speech, the Minnesota Civil Defense sirens went off for their First-Wednesday-Of-Every-Month-At-One-PM test. So while Kerry was droning on, thanking his supporters for trying to Change America, we were treated to a tangible sign that - no matter what the lefties believe - Defense Matters.
Hugh Hewitt made mention that he will probably be calling for symposium submissions in the next few days on the contribution that the blogosphere may have made to the election. I'll try to write something coherent later, but after having given the matter only cursory thought, I maintain that the better blogs of the left and the right are highly influential, but only in the sense that the New York Times is, that is to say, in their own circles.
Yes, I read Kos, but more for a giggle than for information. And I suspect he'd say the same of any member of the Northern Alliance. I doubt that too many of us are convinced by reading a blog with which we disagree. In fact, I wonder if too many even read blogs with which we disagree. And, even if my blog's readership were to skyrocket, I suspect that I would not have changed too many votes.
Yet, hopefully, we're not all preaching just to our respective choirs. I've learned much from the blogosphere over the months, and the fracas over Rathergate shows unequivocally that the blogs have a solid place in the food chain.
One more thing: I listened to the beginning of Dennis Prager's conservative radio show today, something I don't often get to do. Unlike the posturing and pouting that I've seen and heard from the left, I was struck by the humble spirit Mr. Prager displayed as he commented on the huge Bush win last night. Obviously he was overjoyed, but it was a quiet and respectful kind of joy that I doubt many on the left would have been capable of expressing had their man won. He could barely hold back his tears.
I just watched John Edwards (not Kerry, he's not willing to show his face) stride to a microphone and announce that the Kerry camp will "count every vote" and will make sure "every vote is counted." Translation: they are calling in the J.D.'s. They are prepared to go forward with trying to litigate Ohio, at the very least, and possibly Iowa, New Mexico and Nevada, as well. These people will not concede, and it appears that they are going to try to steal the election, once again, just like they tried in Florida in 2000.
But this is a radically different situation from 2000. That race was close, and Gore won the Popular vote. This is nothing like that. Bush has an insurmountable lead in Electoral College votes, and he leads massively in the Popular Vote, as well.
But they know they cannot win this. They aren't doing it to win. They are doing it to be belligerent, to show their constituents that they will 'fight,' and that they can drag the country and the president through the muck. They don't care about their country, they don't care about the office of the presidency, and they don't care about their own party's reputation. They have no shame.
If the Democrats follow through with this to the bitter end, as they did last time in Florida, it will be to their extreme detriment, and they will not recover. Mark my word, this will go down as the watershed moment at which the Democratic Party finally begins its long fade into irrelevancy. It is possible that Hillary! may yet be able to breathe some life back into its corpse in 2008, but to all appearances we are witnessing the death-throes of a once-great political party.
May it rest in peace.
Tuesday, November 02, 2004
Good news: Ohio was just announced for Dubyuh. 266 electoral votes down, only 4 more to go. This might be an early night. Then again, there's always something. It seems there are alot of provisional ballots in Ohio that have to be counted, and the Kerry Campaign appears to think they might yet break for Kerry. So... They're gonna lawyer up. How predictable. Nah, ain't gonna work. They lose - sorely - and we win. I love the smell of victory in the morning! It just may not be a morning for another week or two.