Friday, March 11, 2005

From Lileks: "My friend the Giant Swede showed me how he called up the Bleat on his Blackberry the other day, and while that was rather neat, I need the ability to spend more time on the web — in teeny weeny form — about as much as I need a hot railroad spike hammered in my eyeball."

I've got to agree. I'm beginning the process of shopping for a new cell phone right now, and trying to find a phone that doesn't offer wireless internet is very difficult. I don't need/want it, but I have a feeling that someday soon we're going to have trouble avoiding it at all.

Now, if you figure out how I can plug my laptop into my cell phone and get highspeed internet anywhere, then I'll be interested.

UPDATE [3/11/2005 - 17:07]: Looks like I spoke too soon (sort of). I talked to my brother, and it turns out that Verizon Wireless offers what'd called EVDO in some major (what my brother called "NFL") cities. It's not exactly what I had in mine—i.e. plugging your laptop into your phone and getting highspeed internet—but it is a way to get highspeed internet on any laptop over the standard CDMA networks. Pretty cool stuff.

Not so fast, Glenn
Professor Reynolds points out: "BLOGS VERSUS MCCAIN-FEINGOLD: 'One other thing, according to Technorati there are now 7,718,207 weblogs. That's a whole lot of people - and voters! Just to put a John McCain spin on it - that's about two million more people than the entire population of Arizona.'"

Two problems: 1)Not all of those blogs are politically-based, so they will not come under FEC review.
2)I, for example, now contribute to 4 different blogs, and I have a fifth that is in (temporary?) retirement.

My point is not that there are only a few bloggers by any means, and I agree with his overall point—but don't jump too quickly to the conclusion that there are 7 million bloggers out there.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Blog navel-gazing

UPDATE [3/10/2005 23:51]: I linked to this a while ago, but since it's related I thought I should point out that Tom Maguire came to the same conclusions based on purely observational evidence.

More on Rather

What makes a king out of a slave?
What makes the flag on the mast to wave?
What makes the Hottentot so hot? What puts the 'ape' in apricot? What have they got that I ain't got?
Well played.

The Philosophy of Nintendo
Free Will & Illusion: Save Mario, Not The Princess. Incredible. This author has taken the world of Nintendo, and elevated it to the highest level of philosophy concerning free will and the illusion thereof.

Take a look.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

I suppose I have to
Tonight is the last night Dan Rather will anchor the CBS Evening News, and I feel compelled to make a few comments. Power Line seems ready to pop open the champagne, and links to a collection of Rather quotes published by the Media Research Center.

Powerline makes the clear implication that they believe Rather was partisan in his presentation of the news—I have to disagree. I don't think Rather was intentionally trying to help the Democratic Party, just as I don't think there's a liberal media conspiracy overall. These people aren't trying to tear down Republicans because they're Republicans—they're trying to tear down Republicans because they think Republicans are wrong.

What's the difference? The first way of thinking implies that these people are devoted to Democrats, the second recognizes that they're not acting on their own agenda intentionally. The problem is, the majority of journalists and television news anchors/reporters are Democrats, vote Democrat, associate themselves with liberal policies, and define themselves as moderate. They think they are looking at things objectively even though they are absolutely not.

In this context, Rather probably did not want to take Bush down, he just wanted the people to have the truth. Of course, he honestly believed that Bush must have lied about his service, and that led him to chase the story. He probably didn't even consider the fact that the memos could have been faked, because he believed they represented a truth that the American public needed to know.

Again, it's not that these people are working for the Democrat Party intentionally. They are merely trying to bring the truth to the public. Unfortunately, there's no thing as objective truth, their concept of the truth is skewed to the left, and they're unaware of that fact because their colleagues and the people they went to college and graduate school with skew the same way. So, even without a conspiracy, we find a net liberal bias.

I know the kossacks who stumble across this post will disagree and say that the corporations that own all of these media outlets are really controlling the news, but that's just not true.

On a roll
Lots of good stuff over at Just keep scrolling.

Makes sense to me
JustOneMinute points out that all the outrage over Bush's Social Security plan could have been intentional, setting up that bill as a decoy for other parts of the Republican agenda:

The bankruptcy bill has received a quick flurry of attention, and now looks to be set for finalpassage in the Senate. This 'stealth' approach was also followed with the class-action reform last month - we all scream about Social Security, and suddenly an unrelated bill catches people's attention three minutes before final passage.

But the balance of manpower favors the Reps, who may simply have decided to engage the Dems on as many fronts as possible. In this view, Social Security is the stalking goat drawing Democratic fire, while other important bills fly through under the radar.
Like I said, it makes sense to me, and it certainly wouldn't be all that crazy a plan for someone like Rove.

UPDATE [3/9/2005 - 14:46]: Sorry that the link was not functioning properly earlier. Should be fixed now.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Ah, to be a fly
Specifically, I'd love to be a fly on the wall of Paul Wolfowitz's office when he reads this column about him by David Brooks.

Wolfy has done a lot of good in the world, and he's done so while receiving very little credit, and a lot of the blame for the inevitable shortcomings of his foreign policy vision. The reason I'd love to see his reaction is that I think it'll be a small, self-satisfied smile—and it'll last only a second before he dives back into the work that he so fully dedicates himself to. He's accomplished a lot, and he'll never be satisfied. I have a great amount of respect for people with such strong ideologies, and such a devotion to seeing them come to fruition.

Nothing should be valued above freedom, and Wolfowitz shows that he understands that with every fiber of his being. So, while he'll never see this page, I wish he could know that some of us out here appreciate what he does.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Real journalists just make it up
Maureen Dowd alleges today: "From pornography to 'Desperate Housewives,' women being degraded has an entertainment value far greater than men being degraded."

Oh really? Like Michael Jackson and Scott Peterson got zero press coverage, and no ratings. She may, in fact, be right. But still, she offers zero evidence, and seems to write this entire column based on her own impression of things, damning American culture along the way.

Then again, maybe she's just degrading herself to get more publicity...

More International Tests?
I thought we resolved that one with John Kerry's defeat last November—apparently not.

I haven't posted about Roper v. Simmons much because I think Justice Scalia (all opinions, concurrences, and dissents can be accessed here) said more than enough to cover my views. Basically, I'm undecided about the death penalty for minors, but I do know I want it to be determined legislatively, instead of by a body of five judges who have determined themselves as my moral compass. John Hinderaker has more to add in the Weekly Standard, however, and I think it's important to read what he says, including:

In reality, of course, the 'international opinion' standard is appealing to some justices precisely because it gives them unfettered discretion to pick and choose the 'opinions' that should influence American law. At the end of the day, the opinions the justices are really deferring to are their own. The new standard of 'international opinion' is just one more vehicle that allows Supreme Court justices to make up the law as they go along.
Read the whole thing—it's clear, concise, and spot-on.

Logic and reality
John Fund looks at giving the right to vote to felons, as proposed under John Kerry and Hillary Clinton's new legislation initiative.

The problem, Fund points out, is that this is a matter that should be left up to the states. I'm not sure he's right on that—there's some debate to be had on whether or not felons should be allowed to vote. Personally, I subscribe to the idea that I don't want them voting, because I have no problem saying that voting should be reserved for law-abiding citizens.

However, I agree with Fund on some level. While that debate is all well and good, it's not one that should can be had federally. Why? Because the authority for choosing "the Times, Places, and Manner of holding Elections," is reserved to the states by the 14th Amendment, including the right to disenfranchise based on "participation in rebellion, or other crime." Sorry guys, but have the debate in Massachusetts and New York if you like. Leave Connecticut to me and my fellow residents, thank you very much.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

New week,
new background, new post!!

Political Wire: Kerry Raises Money for Clinton: "'Nobody's calling them the 2008 Democratic dream ticket,' but Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) 'delivered the keynote speech at a fund-raiser for Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton that raised a whopping $180,000,' the Boston Herald reports."

And yet, Senator Edward Kennedy was on TV this morning saying that his candidate for '08 remains Senator Kerry. Odd.