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All content © 2002-2005 Anne Zook

July 28, 2004
Matters Of More Or Less Concern

Electronic balloting. I'm not saying anything wrong was actually done. I'm saying that even the appearance of tampering or fraud should be avoided at all costs. If we want to be able to have faith in the outcomes of our elections, we need to be able to have faith in the processes.

Another perspective on the Sudan and another example of how carefully Bush's handlers manage to stage photo-ops. You'll pardon me, I'm sure, if I say this particular photo made me a bit queasy.

And The Progressive is still on McCarthyism watch. "Protesters Arrested for Aping Abu Ghraib as Bush Motorcade Approached" and "Protester Arrested for Carrying Sign at Bush Event" are two of the latest stories. Pardon me if I say I think they're reaching a bit. Security around presidents has been slowly tightening since someone took potshots at Reagan.

I mean, yeah, I agree the cops acted like idiots, but they were undoubtedly acting under orders. Blame the bosses, not the guys on the street.

On the other hand, maybe it should be an "Idiocy Watch."

The troopers took Finsel down to the station and locked him in a cell for three hours.

"I wasn't read my rights the whole time, and not one cop told me what I was doing wrong," he says.

"He didn't stay in his designated area," says Trooper Ray Albert, public information officer for the Pennsylvania State Police. "He was arrested for not obeying the rules."

After Finsel was taken out of the cell, he was given a citation for disorderly conduct.

"On the citation where it says victim's name, they put 'society.' " Finsel says.

You see? They were protecting society from the anarchy of a sign. Just doing their jobs.

(Joking aside, I'm concerned that we hear more and more about people being arrested without being read their rights or being given any idea of what they're being charged with. It's a very bad trend.)

Apparently those awkward, panic-inducing, fifteen-second elevator silences are about to be a thing of the past. Can't find a link to the story on-line, but I'm told the firm is bringing new and information coverage to elevators here in Denver. Instead of not catching a stranger's eye, we can now spend those precious seconds trying not to listen to canned "news" items.

"We have a good product, but we don't have very good competition since the other option is to look at the back of someone's head." -- Mike DiFranza, general manager, Captivate Network

Denver's experimental talk radio station ("listen to both sides") is gone. Which is a pity, since I only found out it existed about a week ago. The problem may not have been their format, it may have been their advertising. (On the other hand, there are only so many hours in a day and I wasn't likely to give up NPR.)

Under "other things that made me laugh," let's include the moment when, reading this Josh Marshall entry, I saw that Noonan had compared Bush to noted racist and white supremacist Woodrow Wilson whose years in office oversaw the segregation of the federal government some ground-breakingly progressive legislation.

If she's still dreaming about him donning tights and flying to save her from international scoundrels, I really donít want to know about it. I hate it when people share their intimate fantasies out in public. Always makes me feel like I need to take a shower and maybe find something my brain can gargle.

Generally I'm okay with dissing people who are making idiots of themselves, but this goes a bit far.

(It's arguably in questionable taste to even mention the post or the incident. I do so only because if there's a story later that the So-Called Liberal Media is oppressing Coulter, you'll know what she's basing it on.)

Yeah, Coulter is an idiot. Yeah, USAToday was dumb to hire her to cover the DNC, if they were looking for unbiased, or even just professionally balanced coverage. She's not a journalist. She's not really even a columnist. She's just rude and blonde. It's a mystery to me how she's been able to make a career out of those pointless traits, but she seems to have convinced the Right she can Write and, as USAToday should have known, she doesn't specialize in facts.

But there are...I'm sure there are a lot of guys who find her mentally and physically appealing, so implying she's her own best girlfriend is a bit over the line.

(Donít want to dwell on it...subject to nightmares...moving on, quickly.)

Saleton's snarky commentary at Slate is the most interesting Convention coverage I've read so far. (WiFi searchers trying to blog the Convention might want to consider Bill's discovery of the unprotected National Review bandwidth.)

I'm thinking that what we really need, to give us a sense of what a Convention is like from the inside, isn't bloggers writing. It's writers, blogging.

Maybe I just haven't read a wide enough sampling of Convention Blogs yet.

Walter In Denver recommends Reason Magazine. It looks like thoughtful coverage, but I haven't read it yet.

(I'm just skimming through my blogroll while I sit on hold this morning, which I seem to be doing rather frequently. Consequently, I can't really spare the attention to actually read any in-depth coverage of anything. I'm just bookmarking it all for later.)

I actually read, in Andrew Olmsted's comments section, someone arguing that if something was a good idea, everyone would be doing it and, by implication, if everyone isn't doing it, it can't be a good idea. They don't seem to have been joking, either.

We really have to do something about the quality of public education in this country.

Also, Gary Farber was guilty of referencing referring to, "Ad Hominem Tu Quoque" in the same comments string. I'm just saying. It's a bit suspicious, no?

I'm not really in a bloggy mood today.

Posted by AnneZook at 07:22 AM


Comments

As to the bit about Anne Coulter, you can agree she's the most over-the-top right-winger out there, yes? Hard for me to summon much sympathy.

Posted by: Lawrence Krubner at July 28, 2004 11:22 AM

You read an amazing amount of news. Really. I don't know how you do it.

Posted by: Lawrence Krubner at July 28, 2004 11:23 AM

In her defense (and I can't believe I'm defending her, but fair is fair), she had to assume that USAToday knew who and what she was, and how she wrote, when they hired her.

Thus, their 'discovery' that she writes muck-racking, name-calling trash should not have come as such a surprise to them.

There are plenty of commentators from both sides of the fence would would have done a thoughtful, intelligent job of deconstructing the other side's platform and arguments. If USAToday had been serious about offering a "both sides" view, they'd have hired some of them.

(Before work. During "down time" when I'm on the phone on hold or waiting for a call to connect. Lunch break. After work. Read fast. :) It's easy.)

Posted by: Anne at July 28, 2004 01:45 PM

"Also, Gary Farber was guilty of referencing, 'Ad Hominem Tu Quoque' in the same comments string. I'm just saying. It's a bit suspicious, no?"

I kinda wish I knew what this meant. (While we're on usage, one of my pet peeves is people neglecting the perfectly good word "referring," for the fashionable, and terribly awkward "referencing." It's up there with using "impact" instead of "affect." However, my views will have no effect)

Posted by: Gary Farber at July 29, 2004 09:13 AM

Nonsense. All opinions are welcome, although some opinions will be met with mockery.

As for the reference (it's the right word to use this time, I'm just certain), it's not really important. In an earlier, egotistical post, I was musing over the odd variety of search phrases that result in hits to my blog and "Ad Hominem Tu Quoque" came under discussion.

I mean, I wasn't dissing you or anything.

Posted by: Anne at July 29, 2004 01:49 PM

Thanks for the explanation. Not having seen your earlier post, I wasn't able to make sense of the reference.

Posted by: Gary Farber at July 30, 2004 01:36 AM

Gary, sometimes I'm just making jokes for my own amusement. Sorry to have been confusing!

Posted by: Anne at July 30, 2004 07:01 PM