29 March 2005

A Clinton Driveby ? ?

Back to Work

I do apologize for the lapse in posting, I have had some rather pressing matters with the day job, and family the last few days. Nothing bad mind you, just terribly time consuming.

Michael Barone has a very good op-ed piece at RealClearPolitics, echoing some of the same ideas I expressed in my earlier post Schiavo-Crouch-and-Monk, only far more eloquently. Barone dismisses the cynical criticism of the left in the Schiavo tragedy.

A Clinton Driveby ? ?

Also of note, perhaps a BumperStickerPolitix milestone has been reached. I was perusing my sitemeter stats one day (click here it is currently number71 on this list) looking at who had stopped by for a visit and I was very surprised to see the referring URL of what appears to be Bill Clintons Blog. I wasn't aware he was doing a blog. It may be somebody on his staff that writes it for him but that's still kind of funny.

Of course if it actually was the former President who stopped by, I hope he would read this old post from my archives . Perhaps he could get back to us on some of the questions I pose there. -SpinDaddy

23 March 2005

RedNeck Studies Department

The Homogeneous Corporate Moonbat Problem

There has been much trouble of late at various universities. The controversy invariably emanates from some politically correct ethnic studies department, gender agnostic studies department, or perhaps the womens studies department . These departments of study are usually created; ostensibly, to correct some perceived wrong. To ameliorate past "atrocities" perpetrated by society writ large.

The creation of these departments by various university executive staff is always cited as some sort of "outreach" program designed to enhance diversity and awareness. The problem, as I observe academia today, is that like lemmings marching off the cliff; they all strive to create diversity by aping the actions of other universities. The unintended consequence is that almost all university faculty and staff begin to sound the same left-wing-enviro-centric-terrorist-appeasing-hate-America-first rhetoric.

The homogeneousness of these moonbat rants do nothing whatsoever to encourage "diversity". Once you've heard the angry American-man-hating-environmentalist-rant of one moonbat womens/ethnic studies professor, you've heard them all. It's corporate homogeneity. It's similar to going to a Starbucks in Jackson, TN or uptown Charlotte, NC or downtown Portland, OR. You will get the same thing everytime, everyplace. Same thing with McDonalds, regardless of where you happen to visit one of their outlets. It is this type of corporate homogeneity that the moonbat-left so despises in everything from Wal-Mart to Starbucks. Yet in the academy, which the political left in this country owns without question, the moonbat-left can only produce that which it despises.

The Answer to the Homogeneous Corporate Moonbat Problem

The only solution I can see to break this unfortunate cycle is to sacrifice myself. I humbly offer my services as a candidate for hire, to Found and Chair a Redneck Studies department at any university willing to take a real stand for diversity. Diversity of thought.

My qualifications are as follows: BS degree in Communications and Political Science from University of Memphis.

Oh yeah, and I drive a gnarly old USAF line truck, with an NRA bumper sticker on it. Everyday.

I will require a salary commensurate with that of other university level department heads; say in the $100,000-$200,000 range. Creating such a department is the only solution to the appalling lack of diversity in our American university system today. The very existence of such a department would surely attract a new range of students to university who might not otherwise attend. Diversity demands it.

Areas of Study

Some of the curricula would include but are not limited to the following.


Beer and Victuals Studies -

Domestic Beers: 3.0 hrs Underrated and overlooked? Extensive field work in this area of study, as well as possible corporate grant opportunities for the University. One key question examined would be the paradox of duality presented by the Shiner Bock beer.
Shiner Bock: Fancy German Import or Downhome Texas Brew?

Brewing Techniques: 3.0 hrs Applied brewing theory. Students must successfully complete batch of IPA, Pilsner, and Stout suitable for human consumption.

BBQ 3.0 hrs Applied analysis of smoke cooking methods. Critical examination of dry rub vs wet sauce methodologys. Reccomend course be taken concurrently with Large Game Phys Ed course.


Truckology -Getting in touch with your inner gearjammer.

Truck Selection, the importance of: 3.0 hrs 3/4 Ton or 1/2 Ton? What are the differences and why are they important? Four wheel drive or two? Solid axles or IFS? Gas or Diesel powerplants, and how the selection you make reflects on you.

History of Monster Trucks: 3.0 hrs Examination of Monster truck history. Course includes viewing of the 1981 film "Take This Job and Shove It" and analysis of its impact on the monster truck movement in America.

Truckology 3000 3.0hrs Course includes critical examination of the question of whether or not to allow Toyota trucks into NASCAR sanctioned events. Is legislation called for? Note: Students required to attend truck racing events.


Dept of Redneck Studies Phys Ed Courses

Large game course: 3.0 hrs Real world application of woodsmanship, preparation and techniques required to land and field dress Elk, Bear, Mule Deer. Extensive field work required with this course. Able to obtain proper permits from various state game agencies. Prerequisite: Satisfactory completion of Domestic Beer course work. See advisor.

Large game course Lab: 1.0 hrs. Required with course above. Requires rifle of 30.06 cal or greater. Ammunition furnished, with paid activities fee.

Trout Studies: 3.0 hrs Dry fly tying techniques. Roll casting and presentation. The importance of weight forward fly lines in fishing Pacific NW coastal rivers. Course examines question: Are trout actually smarter than your average liberal-socialist-wannabe? Course emphasizes catch and eat practices.

Steelhead Studies: 3.0hrs Extensive field work. Must be able to obtain proper permits from various state game agencies.

Overseas study: 3.0 hrs Applied theory in Alaskan Salmon fishing. Coursework requires extended periods on remote Alaskan rivers. Course Prerequisites; successful completion of Trout and Steelhead study coursework.


NASCAR studies

History of NASCAR 3.0hrs Course includes rigorous examination of history and development of sport, from post war years to today. Which driver had the greatest impact; Dale Earnhardt, Richard Petty, or Fireball Roberts?

Prejudices and Biases in NASCAR 3.0 hrs Critical examination of NASCAR rule structure. Is there a bias in favor of GM products? Were Chryslers HEMI-powered, winged cars of the early 1970's the victim of a rules conspiracy?
Note: Course participation requires prerequisite History of NASCAR. Entry without course prerequisite by waiver of department chair only.


Film, Music and Media studies

RedNeck Films Survey 4.0 hrs Course incudes viewing, analysis, and comparison of such Hot Rod-Cold Beer classics as "Gator", "Bullitt" , "Vanishing Point", and "Smokey and the Bandit" . Final exam to involve intensive analysis of the underrated 1952 John Wayne classic "Big Jim McClain" and its political ramifications.

Music History 4.0hrs Course involves intensive examination and review of both types of music: Country AND Western.


RedNeck Sexuality studies

RetroSexuality 3.0 hrs Course compares and contrasts the vastly different lifestyle issues of Retrosexuality and Metrosexuality.

Redneck Foreplay 3.0 hrs Course teaches such successul techniques as "Get in the truck woman". As well as the importance of Don Williams, Conway Twitty, and Patsy Cline music to the seduction process.

Interested University recruiting personnel are encouraged to contact the author care of this blog.
-SpinDaddy

22 March 2005

Trust-a-farians

Michael Barone has an excellent op-ed piece at RealClear Politics describing the rise of an important political demographic. Around the mountains of Appalachia here they are also referred to as trust-a-farians, a reference to their preferences in hair style and affinity for the consumption of marijuana. The species is commonly found in the allegedly hip enclaves of Asheville, around Boone and Banner Elk NC the latter because of access to skiing and the "AT"

Invariably they are spotted by the cars they drive; predominantly VW, SAAB, Porsche Cayenne,Volvo wagons, Land Rover, and to a lesser extent the Subaru wagon. The latter often an indication of poor standing with the controller of the trust.

Making the vehicles easier still to spot, is the adornment of platitude ridden-left-wing-enviro-centric bumper stickers. Often these vehicles sport Florida plates and the drivers sport New York accents. The locals are still scratching their heads wondering how this happened to them, as now the trust-a-farians are pricing them out of the local real estate market. -SpinDaddy

21 March 2005

Schiavo-Crouch-and-Monk

Saving Schiavo

It is absolutely astounding to watch congressional Democrats' new found awareness of what is the proper scope of the national legislature. After decades upon decades of abusing the Interstate Commerce Clause of the US Constitution to cram thinly disguised socialism down our throats, now the democrats have decided it is time to revisit the proper scope of the federal legislature. It really is a little more than a little disingenuous. All weekend, the nation has been subjected to a parade of democrats denouncing the actions intended to give Terri Schiavo the same access to the federal courts that your average child-molester-serial-killer-dregs-of-society gets, and they have their fur all up about it. Accusing Tom Delay and others in the congressional leadership of pandering to the culture of life.

So what if they are?

Then isn't it fair to assume that the democrats, by deduced reasoning, oppose life?

What is utterly breath-taking in its audacity is to watch the democrats bleat and warble about the improper scope of congress in this exercise in human decency. Yes, it clearly interferes with properly inane congressional pursuits (at least to the democratic way of thinking) such as setting speed limits for the 50 states, paying farmers not to grow certain crops, and paving every last square inch of West Virginia, then naming it the Robert Byrd memorial Freeway/Parking lot.

Where was all this concern about proper congressional scope and limitations while congress was busy limiting free speech with McCain/Feingold?

Where was all the institutional handwringing about congress' poorly conceived efforts to diminish the second amendment protections of Amercian citizens?

Where is all the concern about the improper nature of the federal legislature continuing to dictate a farce of a mandatory retirement program?

I could go on and on with examples until your eyes bled, now that the congress has acted to extend some measure of access to a tragically sick woman, the democrats are upset about proper congressional scope. Amazing. Perhaps if they had legislated an outcome, that would better please the pseudo-socialistic aestheic of congressional democrats. What is even more stunning is how this shrieking illustrates their political tone deafness. They would be far better served to just be quiet. They should just put tape over their own mouths and be quiet, like the protesters in Florida are doing so effectively in Mrs. Schiavos behalf.

The congress sits by for a little over two hundred years since Marbury v Madison, and watches as the courts continue to usurp their legislative power, I'm speaking of both parties generally; while the democrats actively pursue such a strategy. Ironically, now the democrats are all about limited federal power.

Since when?

I have blogged about this before. One thing that absolutely would be within their scope (unlike the spotted-snail-darter-whatever, or the 55 mph speed limit) would be to reign in out of control federal courts, like the ninth circuit. Let's watch now and see if they summon the courage and gumption to do that. Republicans and Democrats alike. I'm not going to hold my breath.

Stanley Crouch and SpinDaddy

Probably don't agree too often politically. I've never had the opportunity to meet him, but now I know there are at least two things we agree on. He has an op-ed piece today in the New York Daily News, where he echoes, in a sense, my Three Opportunities post of 16MAR05 , in the energy and environment section. Crouch calls for a renewed look at Nuclear energy. Read the whole thing as he makes some excellent points.

" ... It is time to recognize what even France understands, which is that nuclear energy is the cleanest, safest and least expensive way to get beyond oil dependency..."

This is a point very well taken and worthy of a little speculation about how much better off our economy would be today if we had not cowered before the environmental-anti-capitalism cabal since three-mile island.
TMI was not proof that the system writ large that we know as the nuclear power industry is flawed; but rather it was proof of just the opposite. The systems and designs work, and safeguards worked as intended.

Of course there were missteps or there would not have been an incident, but look at our exposure today to the whims of various Mideastern, and South American regimes. Weak and sympathetic Democratic leaders in congress at the time buckled under pressure from the environmental lobby and virtually shut down any further development of nuclear power. Such exposure to these whims is unacceptable, and should be corrected immediately, the irrational fears of Jane Fonda and the no-Nukes crowd notwithstanding. I believe Crouch is on to something when he says

"...We are due for a major reconstruction of our thinking about nuclear power... "

Right on. Newer technologies in construction and containment would yield bountiful, cheap, and clean energy. Continuing to bow and scrape before the environmental lobby is not only damaging our economic well being by making us too dependent on unstable foreign energy sources, but also endangers our national security. We need to start now correcting this. It will probably take a good twenty years to restart our nuclear energy industry.

This shameful cowering by those in power also puts our domestic safety at risk, as the plants we have now age and become outmoded for lack of a suitable replacement regime, they will incur more risk as they continue to operate beyond their optimal lifespan. As these plants age excessively and are not replaced, they will begin to have problems, thus becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy for the environmental-chicken-littles. In 1935 when Social Security was started, the Douglas DC-3 was a state of the art airliner. You can "safely" operate a Douglas DC-3 today as a trunk airliner, but nobody does.

Why?

Because the load efficiencies are not there and the maintenance requirements too high per seat mile. Steam locomotives were done in for the same economically rational reasons, regardless of their romantic majesty, they are impractical to operate today. Current nuclear power plants face the same fate. Continuing to take incidents such as three-mile island and blow them out of proportion to justify not pursuing an updated nuclear power system is the height of foolishness. That would be like abandoning rail service after Casy Jones' crash. The political barriers to restarting our nuclear power industry on a large scale are the result of an artificial construct on the part of these environmentalist Luddites , and we should tolerate it no longer. There have been some unsafe incidents, but generally speaking, the nuclear power industry has a tremendous safety record.

Oh yeah, what is the other thing Stanley Crouch and I have in common? An intense and deep love of Jazz music. I know he would very much like the Thelonious Monk album I am listening to as I write this. The Thelonious Monk Orchestra at Town Hall. I give it my highest reccomendation. I'm quite sure Stanley would agree. -SpinDaddy

20 March 2005

Sunset Boone


Taken 18MAR05 as my son and I were headed home from town. -SpinDaddy

17 March 2005

uh60punk Update



I got a nice note in email this morning from military blogger uh60punk , serving in Afghanistan.
Here is some great photoblogging of their golf practice, click here to see the rest of the photos. Got to keep your game up you know. Keep our boys and girls in uniform in your thoughts and prayers as they serve to protect you. -SpinDaddy

Social Security Reform Now, RIGHT NOW

In 1935 when Social Security was foisted on an unsuspecting and depression fatigued American public, Radio was the new mass communication medium. Much as we view the internet today. I am quite certain Will Rogers would have been a blogger.

Think about that.

A used, running, good condition Model T Ford could be had for $25.00 or less.

Lindbergh had crossed the Atlantic only eight years prior. Today we have privately built spacecraft going to space. Space tourism is only a few years off, we have phones that we can carry in a shirt pocket and need no wires. In a large majority of American homes we have several televisions, personal computers. We even have computers that we can carry with us.

FDR has often been hailed by democrats as the great experimenter. Oddly though, the only thing he seemed interested in experimenting with were thinly disguised socialist programs. So now, 70 years later, we are still experimenting with a socialistic Ponzi scheme, and surprise, surprise, it still doesn't work. Imagine that; the other great experiment in socialism, the Soviet Union, has long since been relegated to the ash heap of history, but partisan hack democrats in this country still insist that we change no parameters in this so called "experiment". The obstructionists in the Democratic party insist on continuing to invoke the memory of FDR; so, they owe us an explanation for this. Like, what is their hypothesis, and when can we expect to see a favorable result?

Depending on what figures you look to, Social Security yields less than a two percent return. Unless you are an exempted government employee, you must participate under threat of force. Failure to comply will result in jail time. Some deal, sounds like a raw deal to me.

The always brilliant Walter Williams, professor of economics at George Mason University, has a couple of great articles this topic. Read both of them as they are very informative. In the first, Williams shows the outright deceit of the Social Security scheme.

"...Here's what a 1936 government Social Security pamphlet said... beginning in 1949, twelve years from now, you and your employer will each pay 3 cents on each dollar you earn, up to $3,000 a year...That is the most you will ever pay."... Had Congress lived up to those promises, where $3,000 was the maximum earnings subject to Social Security tax, controlling for inflation, today's $50,000-a-year wage earner would pay about $700 in Social Security taxes, as opposed to the more than $3,000 that he pays today..."

In the second piece from Williams, he points up two Supreme Court decisions that should be very interesting to those seniors who continue to buy into the nonsense that Social Security is a right or even a contractual obligation the government owes to them.

"...Another lie was that there was a Social Security account with your money in it to which you had rights. There's no such account, plus, according to two U.S. Supreme Court cases -- Helvering v. Davis (1937) and Fleming v. Nestor (1960) -- you have no legal right, in the sense of a contract, to Social Security payments..."

Social Security is a fraud, and we should be allowed to opt out of it completely. It is immoral to continue with this farce when it has been demonstrated time and again to be nothing more than an outdated, failed socialist scheme. Democrats always demagogue Republican initiatives with the focus-group-tested-phrase "risky-scheme". By my reckoning, counting on Social Security to provide for you or your family in retirement is the "risky-scheme". Failing to fix it now by spending $2 trillion, and instead waiting until it becomes a $10 trillion problem sounds like a "risky-scheme".

A 2005 model Ford 500, arguably an almost direct descendant of say a 1935 Ford sedan, is a technological marvel compared to the Ford sedan of 1935. Todays model 500 (itself a nostalgic revival of a 1960's Ford offering) offers a 203 hp 3.0 DOHC V-6 with electronic fuel injection, disc brakes, available all wheel drive and shares its chassis platform with Volvo. I used the Ford for comparison purposes because it illustrates how far along the world has moved since 1935. Heck; in todays automotive market a 203 hp V-6 is nothing special. The new Ford 500 has safety features like airbags and anti-lock brakes that were the stuff of sci-fi fantasy in the 1930's. Not even transport category airliners of the 1930's had these features. But were you to cite these specifications in 1935, (as standard equipment no less!) you would have caused quite a sensation.

Social Security might have sounded like a good idea to someone who had possibly stood in bread lines only a few years before, or seen a fortune evaporate in the crash of 1929, but it just does not make sense today when we have seen better examples, in say Chile or even our own Galveston, TX.

We can do better. President Bushes proposal will ensure a much better return, allowing the accumulation of real wealth, as well as being able to pass this along to your family, a feature sorely lacking in the current system. You wouldn't be satisfied with a 1935 Ford sedan, other than as a curiosity or perhaps a weekend cruiser, but not for a daily driver. Why in the world would you accept such a thing for your retirement?

You wouldn't. Not for a minute. -SpinDaddy

Update 19MAR05 1406hrs: This post was linked to by Dummocrats.com and started quite a conversation in the comments section over there. I will update with some responses of my own in a bit, I've got other chores to get to right now but, I'll be back -Spin

16 March 2005

Three Opportunities

Judiciary - Academic - Energy and Environment.

I have Blogged on the first two previously. We should no longer allow the leftists and socialist wannabes in this country and their sycophants in the democratic party to continue subjecting the citizens of this country to the nonsensical bleatings that pass for their political agenda. So just a quick update on those opinions for any new readers out there, then the Energy and Environment rant.

Judiciary

First opportunity. The time has long since past to "go constitutional" on the democrats in Congress, and take back the Federal Judiciary. We liberated Iraq from the tyrannical thuggery of Saddam Hussein. Now is the time to liberate the US from, the tyrannical judicial thuggery, of those who insist on ramming their socialist PC agenda down our throat. Their silly moonbat ideas will not pass any kind of electoral muster, so activist judges "legislate" from the bench by fiat and decree. We should tolerate this no longer. That we continue to tolerate this places our national security and indeed the very fabric of our society at risk.

Perhaps a good place to begin asserting our sovereign authority would be to insist that congress dissolve the ninth circuit and start over, or replace it with two different circuits, splitting their geographic jurisdiction. Imposing a mandatory retirement on the fools that currently occupy that farce and paying them as though they were still sitting, would be a bargain compared to continuing to suffer their foolishness.

Academic

Next opportunity, the academy. I don't have to detail the magnitude of the failings of our educational institutions. That has been done ad nauseum. Generally, in the K-12 systems this is confined to public schools. Everybody tends to cite the Washington DC school system because it is such an inviting target. I have seen figures in the $12,000-$15,000 range as the per pupil cost yet they continue to fail to produce the desired result, and as a defense, point out that at least they aren't Mississippi. I have suggested before that perhaps it is time, as taxpayers, to create the-mother-of-all-consumer-class-action-lawsuits and sue the Federal dept of education, individual schoolboards, state depts of education etc. until they start getting it right.

At the college level it is hard to imagine a better institutional arrangement for leftist PC indoctrination than our nations college systems. Stalin could only have dreamed for such a successful structure. Now is the time to begin a full scale rout of the liberal academic establishment, and you can start here.

Energy and Environment

Third opportunity. We have cowered before the environmental-anti-capitalism cabal far too long. We have the cleanest environment vs the scale of industrial/economic activity on this planet, yet we are constantly harangued by environmentalist moonbats for "killing the planet".

STOP IT.

This is pure foolishness. The internal combustion engine in automobiles, long the bane of environmental moonbats everywhere (except those found in the following makes: VW, SAAB, Subaru,Volvo...which the left regard as acceptable) has made improvements in efficiency that are so huge as to be almost immeasurable. When one compares the first IC engines of the 1800's to todays modern powerplants the improvements are staggering. Today Honda makes SULEV engines so clean that driving them in the Los Angeles basin actually cleans the air. Yet we are constantly told that driving a car is killing the planet. We can produce plenty of oil, our biggest issues are refinery capacity, and a too complex a regime for imposing different clean air fuel blends in too many different markets. Conservatives must stand up to environmentalists and insist that, new refineries be built so as to lessen cyclical fuel price shocks to the economy. This lack of refinery capacity is a hidden tax on everyone that serves the American public very poorly.

Of course, you know who is adamantly opposed to building new refineries. This despite the fact that newer technologies available today would make them cleaner and more efficient. This from a group that still clings to a failed ponzi scheme from a socialist administration of the 1930's for a retirement program.

It looks as though we are off to a good start with the senate finally approving drilling in ANWAR today , but there is much, much more to be done. It is also time to seriously re-examine nuclear power, and coal. The environmentalist moonbats may scream bloody murder, but that's too bad. If nuclear power and coal can offset using petroleum for electricity production thus freeing it for use as fuel, the less dependent we will be on foreign energy souces. The most desirable component of the regime I describe, is enhanced stability in energy markets and sources, and less vulnerability to the whims of whatever crackpots happen to be running energy producing countries.

It is time for conservatives to begin governing as if they are the majority, because they are. -SpinDaddy

15 March 2005

Sarbanes and Dayton to Lead Exodus

Sen Paul Sarbanes D MD along with another Democrat, Mark Dayton of MN are leading the exodus of senior Democratic senators to leave the Senate by 2006. A similar wave of retirements was seen in 1994 after the GOP wrested control of the US House and Senate after nearly 40 years of exile from any major legislative roll in the US Congress. The then new minority members were mostly near retirement anyway, and with the prospect of not being able to achieve a chair position on a committee, many decided private pursuits were the order of the day.

In the wake of President Bushes resounding victory last November, where the president and conservatives won overwhelmingly, it seems a second wave of democratic defections, from the ranks of the Senate at least, is under way. It seems driven by the same selfish concerns regarding diminished power that goes with serving in the minority as were seen in 1994. David Kirkpatrick of the NYT Washington desk reports that "...Mr. Sarbanes, 72...colleagues said he had complained privately that serving in the Senate was much less gratifying as a member of the minority, without control of any committees or the legislative agenda..." Read the whole piece for complete details. We can only hope that the exodus of tired, selfish democrats is a large one this time.

Teddy Kennedy is up again in 2006, perhaps we could soon see John Heinz-Kerry elevated to Sr Senator from MA with ol' Kennedy retiring to a so-called "Senior Statesman" type of roll. Mitt Romney could land Kennedys seat with a raw political play of appealing to the voters good sense of having a member in the senate who is in the majority. In neighboring NY, Rudy Giuliani could take out their junior senator, making her far less a formidable presidential candidate.

For reasons of demographics unique to that state, Sarbanes MD seat will probably go to Kweisi Mfume who has announced intentions to run for the seat. Although that depends on who the GOP runs against him. Daytons MN seat on the other hand might well end up in play as both MN and WI have been trending more conservative in recent election cycles. Within the next few presidential election cycles they will probably become solid red states, and may pull MI in their direction as well.

Remember that Bush defied the odds not to mention most of congressional history when he picked up seats in the 2002 midterm election cycle. I really believe he could do it again, seriously tipping the balance of power. In the Senate especially. Alexander Brunk at Save the GOP has a good take on it here. I think this is right although I disagree with his analysis about TN, if the candidate is Harold Ford Jr. I will personally move back there to campaign against him. One has to be familiar with local TN politics and the Ford family shenanigans in particular to understand; but I don't believe TN will ever accept all the nonsense that goes with the Ford family to put Jr in the Senate. We'll see. Hat tip to my buddy Memphis Joefish. I didn't even look first, I just linked to his site because I knew "John-scandal-a-day-Ford" or some other member of the Ford family would have stepped in it again. Can Jr keep uncle John in the closet for the duration of a Senate race while undergoing major, perhaps national scrutiny? I doubt it. -SpinDaddy

14 March 2005

Refining Definition of the Blogosphere Continues

Dick Rogers of the SF Chronicle has a very good op-ed piece ruminating on the blogosphere. Hat tip to Real Clear Politics. Rogers observes accurately that not all blogs are serious blogs. Fair point; of the estimated 8 million or so that are out there, way too many deal with the obscure and inane.

That should not serve to diminish the credibility or seriousness with which say, a Powerline or Sound Politics should be taken. I can point out any number of print vehicles, radio or "Television News" that do not desrve to be taken the slightest bit seriously. You probably could name a few of your own.

The blogosphere is not going away, wishing it so will not make it come to pass. As I and others have posted before, the MSM would be better off to engage the blogosphere in some fashion. -SpinDaddy

12 March 2005

Toe River


Toe River
Posted by: spindaddy.
More photoblogging. Toe River, between Green Mountain NC and well, the other side of nowhere. -SpinDaddy

11 March 2005

Blogosphere Backlash

It is interesting to watch the increasingly important impact of the blogosphere. There are a couple of intersting articles linked at Real Clear Politics today. These articles deal with the question of whether bloggers are journalists. Websters first definition of a journalist is: the writer of a journal. The second definition is: one whose occupation is journalism: an editor, correspondent, critic, or reporter of a newspaper; a newspaperman.

The process of defining the scope of the blogosphere, like any rapid growth process, will probably involve pain. Just ask Dan Rather or Eason Jordan. Jacob Weisberg points out in his piece in Slate, that the definition of journalism is being blurred.

". . . Even before the advent of blogging, the issue of who qualified as a journalist was a tricky one. Were the pamphleteers of the American Revolution journalists? Was Mark Twain? Is Oprah Winfrey? With the proliferation of new modes of communication online, deciding who is and who isn't a journalist has become pretty much impossible. . . "

Read the whole thing as it is a well written piece on the subject. Also read Jon Carroll of the SF Chronicle. His take on it points out that the explosion of the blogosphere has led to a net increase in information available for consumers which is indeed a good thing. He also makes the interesting observation that "...Bloggers are just columnists without newspapers..." This is also a good thing; right? This seems to have produced op-ed commentary that is far more diverse, available, and sometimes far more critical than members of institutional big journalism could ever produce. At the end of his piece Carroll offers to stand and defend the blogosphere, a healthy recognition of reality from a member of the MSM.

A few posts back I pointed out there are rumblings that the blogosphere is about to be regulated. It is more than a little ironic to note that none other than Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold who was the democratic co-sponsor of the McCain-Feingold law, the proposed vehicle for such regulation, now appears to be arguing against such a thing. That's odd, as some have made compelling arguments that the McCain-Feingold law served mainly two purposes. One; to further entrench incumbent politicians particularly those in Congress, and two; to encourage the consolidation of media power. Mainstream Media Power. In the piece linked above Feingold cautions "...The FEC must tread carefully in the area of political communications on the Internet..." . With all due respect Senator, your suggestion is impossible for any Federal bureauracracy. The concepts of Federal bureacracy, and treading lightly are mutually exclusive.

I believe the most likely explanation for the explosion of alternative media is to fill the vacuum left by an obviously discernable problem of bias in the MSM. This problem is compounded by pure laziness on the part of many, especially at the local level. But then, where do the "Bigs" recruit their so-called talent from? The local television and print markets. I am not trying to paint with too broad a brush here, as this criticism is not applicable to the whole of the MSM. A competition driven shakeout of the MSM is a good thing for the American body-politic. This is something Thomas Jefferson would have approved of. In a metaphorical sense, this is a refreshing of the tree of Liberty with blood from time to time.

It is important to remember though that the markeplace of ideas is no different from any other marketplace; in that, where there is a demand someone will come along and fill it. Tampering with these powerful market forces through regulation is likely to be ineffective, and more importantly threatens to trample one of our most precious liberties; that of healthy dissent . -SpinDaddy

Update 12MAR05 1135hrs: Ambra Nykol out in Seattle has a great post, this topic. Read it here.

09 March 2005

Rathers Riddance

As they say in Texas Dan; "don't-let-the-screen-door-hit-you-on-the-way-out". This narcissistic fool has been tolerated by the management and stockholders at CBS for far too long and his leaving the anchor chair is long overdue. Fortunately for us he will stay on at the show 60 minutes II. This is good for us pundit-wannabes on the political right, as Dan is such a choice target for our harangues. He really is a gift to those of us who want to illustrate the folly of the political left in this country. He makes that job all too easy, by just showing up for work everyday.

Some day, after he steps in it again on 60 minutes II he may finally be put out to pasture. So then what? You're an arrogant, narcissistic, blowhard; steeped in the habit of watching your own image reflected back from the pond. What next?

Dan could seek to right injustices; no wait, OJ is already looking for Nicole's real killers.

He could seek spiritual redemption and meaning. No. Bill Clinton is already holding prayer sessions with the reverend Jesse Jackson.

He could care for unfortunate sick children. No. Michael Jackson is currently on trial for that.

Get to the bottom of the bothersome, pesky memo-gate thing. Nnnaahh.

Hmmm. Lets see. Narcissistic, fond of staring at your own image in the pond.

Wait, I know! Hair care! Yes, that's it. The one thing he has a sure command of is hairspray.

Yes, yes this is all coming together nicely. Dangerous Dan, John Heinz-Kerry, and Johnny "Hairboy" Edwards can form a fearsome, democratic cabal of guys with great hair!!

Seriously though, I have seen alot of the MSM coverage of Disingenuous Dans downfall and departure, and unless you are watching FNC, the word "blogger" is never, ever mentioned. Instead, the writers and producers of MSM news shows have given us PC name: "conservative-critics". MSNBC and CNN are especially good at "reporting" the immaculate downfall without ever mentioning the dreaded B-word. Dan was undone by "conservative-critics". Right.

Rather has had "conservative-critics" since at least the sixties and seventies, why is it that they were only recently able to prevail in this case? The hard truth many in the MSM lack the courage to face is that this new alternative medium, has decisively taken out one of their own (well, two with Eason Jordan) and now they think they can ignore the monster back into the cultural swamp of "fly-over-land".

Wishful thinking.

Guys and gals just like me and Voice, Matt Rosenberg, Memphis Joefish, Hugh Hewitt, Glenn Reynolds, Nykola, Will Collier and thousands, and thousands more all over the country are watching, and we will not tolerate the silliness that has passed for journalism in recent decades.

That is over.

I have said it again and again, the MSM ignores the blogosphere at their own peril. -SpinDaddy

Linville NC


After the snowstorm blew out, it made for some spectacular scenery. More to follow as I get time in the next few days. -SpinDaddy

CYA from the Left

With democracy fever breaking out all over the terrorist belt known as the mideast, the Washington Times has yet another of many, many examples of how the left is beginning to grudgingly admit that Bush foreign policy is sound and correct. Another example here in the UK Independent. Hat tip to Rosenblog.

Of course what many of the MSM vehicles omit is the obvious fact that the lefts caterwalling and handwringing was and is wrong. It is a matter of simple logic that if Bush foreign policy is right, then we can draw the obvious conclusion that those on the left who adamantly opposed Bush were WRONG.

I'm very happy to welcome Voice back. A little west coast perspective is always a good thing. He had a technical glitch which has been resolved, and the quality of writing at this blog is sure to improve with his contributions. -SpinDaddy

08 March 2005

Voice has Returned

More coming from the West Coast of CA soon. Work and family matters have kept me sufficiently occupied!

---Voice

07 March 2005

Regulate the Blogosphere?

Probably not, but here is an interesting read here at the Moonbat Central Blog. It seems the Moonbats over at FEC are contemplating a crackdown on Blogging, hehheh. Should be entertaining to watch anyway. At a minimum, regulation of the blogosphere would be very difficult, due to its size. Furthermore, it is constantly changing, making consistent "enforcement" tricky.

As the CNET article also points out such an endeavor would be tricky and "...a really complex issue that would strike deep into the heart of the Internet and the bloggers who are writing out there today. (Editor's note: federal law limits the press exemption to a "broadcasting station, newspaper, magazine or other periodical publication." )..." This seems to be an unwarranted "bright line" distinction.

Meanwhile, in this piece the NYT makes a compelling argument that bloggers are making more and more inroads into what were once regarded as the enclaves of "real journalists". Hat tip to the Blogfather. It seems many in the Washington political press corps feel the same way, in spite of hypercritical assessments of their job performance by the bloggers. That would include yours truly. -SpinDaddy

04 March 2005

Fridays Quick Rant

I've been waayyy busy with the day job. The blizzard we had up here has been a real pain. Martha Stewart is out of jail...and? Could this be a turning point for fashion obsessed lefties? Film at 11:00.

I guess the MSM just doesn't understand just how shallow they look when they cover the prison release of a home-decor-diva/felon, while all around the real world things of import continue to unfold.

"What was she wearing Joan?"

"Oh, she had a fabulous blah-blah blah...back to you in the studio "

WHO CARES!!!

The political left continues to unravel, Matt Rosenberg has great piece at Rosenblog about how utterly ineffective MoveOn.org has been. You know it's bad when Rolling Stone chastises you.

Off to try to finish catching up at work. More snow photo blogging when I can catch a few extra minutes.
- SpinDaddy

02 March 2005

Just Plain Silly

This is getting just plain silly. Supreme court rules...

No.

Strike that... Imposed their latest version of judicial tyranny from the bench. By a 5-4 "decision" Supreme Court stuck death penalty for those convicted of crimes they commited when they were under 18. The majority opinion claims the 8th amendment provisions against cruel and unusual punishment. Seems like the same kind of stretch that brought us abortion from some sort ethereal penumbra of the shadow of the founders original intent nonsense that has wrought infanticide on a mass scale probably incomprehensible to the founding fathers, and the authors of the Constitution.

This is just getting plain silly.

So now the maniac Lee Malvo is to be spared possible conviction in say VA to face the possibility of a death sentence? Up to 70 other cop killers, and other sociopaths will someday be eligible for parole?

Apparently we have only four voices of reason on the court as Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist and Justices Sandra Day O'Connor, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas were dissenters. And in my opinion one of those is kind of shaky anyway.

Whatever it takes, Constitutional option, Nuclear option, Congressional intervention, this must cease. Immediately. It is within congress' authority to set jurisdictional limits on the court, determine its structure, funding etc. and it may well be time to impose just such controls on this out of control body.

Mark Levin of the Landmark Legal Foundation has just released a book on this very subject, called Men In Black, one which I have not made the time to get and read yet but will soon. Standby for the review.

That we continue to tolerate these fools endangering our public safety and the other nosensical judicial fiat emanating from the bench generally is just plain silly. -SpinDaddy

Update 09MAR05 : The blog Error Theory has an excellent writeup on this. -Spin

01 March 2005

Tony Snow and the SNOW

Tony Snow is recovering from cancer surgery. Tony is one of my inspirations. Hope and pray he will have a full recovery. Hat Tip to the Powerline.

Still dealing with the near blizzard like conditions up here in the mountains. Supposed to let up after tommorrow. I'm waayy tired gonna' turn in now. - SpinDadddy