Captain Mainline

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Gannon?

Let's assume Gannon did something illegal in his private life of a sexual nature. How would he be different from WJ Clinton?

Gannon did not do any of it while being paid by the tax payer, and I don't think it affected his employer- who was not the public anyway. And Gannon did not obstruct justice- certainly not while he was the head of national law enforcement. (The Pres is the cheif executive, you all understand, right?)

Why are "politics of personal destruction" embraced by some - depending on the target? Is that not a type of the "evil prejudice" that most rail against?

Holding multiple standards based on your agenda- do you have to study Aristotle and Socrates to understand this is wrong?

Are the terms doubletalk, two-faced, double-standard, good ol boys, prejudiced, etc only a bad thing when done by others?

I hear many say it is OK to rip Gannon because of what other conservatives have done, but exacting penalties on one person because of what others have done is wrong! I've heard Cracker Jack gave some idiots their drivers liscences, but it looks like some got their moral compasses from the same place!

If WJC can obstruct justice as President for something he did in the peoples' house during working hours - and you are OK with that - then spare me your outrage over Gannon. (Who?)

Lefties- can you even understand what I am saying here? Can you hear the words coming out of my keyboard?

People talk about "red state values" - can you even begin to understand my point?

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Separated at Birth? Pelosi/Jackson

Someone please find comperable pictures of Nancy Pelosi and Michael Jackson- the hair, eyes, and noses are very similar. Their plastic faces, surreal demeanors... this has possibilities.

Update: I was not the first on this, see:

http://www.simmins.org/Blog/2003_04_06_arch.html#92445819

My Cynicsim re Social Security reforms

It occurs to me that while President Bush sincerely wants to reform Social Security, the thinking of Carl Rove type pragmatists may well be content to string this out as an issue because of its strong appeal to younger voters. I think Bush does a good job reassuring the 50+ crowd, while many younger people will be strongly influenced by the privitization concept.

Many wonder if cynical democrats never wanted to actually cure poverty or racism because it would deny them a powerful lever... along this same line there may be differences amongst conservatives in how quickly we really want to get this done.

Friday, January 21, 2005

Echo Chamber proves bias

News can be practically defined as anything fresh that attracts an audience, which explains the why sports becomes lead story when the local team wins a championship.

Al Gore complained of the “echo chamber” of talk radio back in 1999, where pro-GOP stories were pushed up and into the mainstream. He was correct.

If certain popular stories were being filtered from the MSM because of a particular political advantage, would that not prove a bias on the part of those who choose which stories are covered?

Correct me if I am wrong, but doesn’t Gore’s “echo chamber” complaint prove a liberal bias existed in 1999?

Why more terror?

If you were a powerful figure in a large oil rich country with a lot of very poor citizens, how would you stay alive? The poor are angry. Could you create a middle class that would not wrench your wealth and power away from you, and kill you? Maybe you could...

Would the safest route be to focus their attention on external factors, such as Israel, the USA, and the West in general?

Now that there is a TV in every village square and the poor can see how badly their lot really is, and the internet is common enough as well- do you need to step up the “hate someone else” message?

I am not surprised the oil rich encourage hatred of external forces- the other choice is revolution. They are rich but they walk a fine line- someday the revolution will come with its guillotine.

What would you do?

Noonan's Miss

Noonan is the best, in a class of her own. I was quite surprised to read her latest- she missed the point entirely. President Bush is raising the bar.

In the cold war we had good reasons, at times, to support ruthless characters. We had an ultimately ruthless enemy with significant nuclear abilities. But the very nature of terrorism makes it very likely that supporting locally brutal leaders will be strategically unsound.

Yes, we need to create a distance between ourselves and folks like Saudi Arabia’s royalty- even though they have proved to be convenient allies in the region. The direction of society continues to be toward higher expectations. President Bush is signaling our intention to expect more from our associates. In my view, his timing is perfect.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Five Questions

I find political debates by candidates to be frustrating in that they do whatever it takes to stay on message. Regardless of the question the answer seems to be “I am a smart patriot with way better plans than my deranged opponent”. Well, they would be fools to say anything else- but the debates have become little more than a chance for voters to observe the candidates under pressure.

I would like to see each campaign presented with a list of questions to answer, say 5 questions. Potential questions could be submitted to a web service and voted on to get the top 5. The questions can be fully loaded, politically and whatever people want. The candidates would have plenty of time to craft whatever responses they desire, using their advisors and any tools they need.

If the answers fail to address the question it will not be due to time or “message” constraints, and the lack of convenient excuses should yield results that are worth analyzing.

Maybe the League of Women Voters could be hired to supervise the creation of the questions, perhaps inviting opposing bloggers and journalists to formulate the list of questions.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Privatization Lockbox?

In the presidential campaign for 2000 Al Gore talked about creating a virtual lockbox to protect social security revenues from being raided by congress to augment the general fund. Never mind the fact one congress cannot prevent a future congress from undoing such a lockbox, as Gore counted on the MSM to adding this to their big book of ignored problems with the proposals of democratic candidates.

When Bush talked about his plan to privatize part of those very revenues, I wondered then and now why he does not adopt the "lockbox" term. The funds sequestered from the current mechanisms would indeed be protected from the congressional raiders. It is worth noting that even future congresses would have a tough time breaking this lock.

Given the scope of the raiding, social security is a regressive tax that adversely affects the poor in comparison to others. The Democrats ignore this violation of what we presume to be one of their core values perhaps because they do not want anything to distract from their self-proclaimed role as champions of social security.

In terms of the privatization debate, I see low hanging fruit of curbing a regressive tax and protecting social security from congressional raiders by realizing Al Gore was right on one aspect of social security: we need a privatization lockbox.

Monday, January 17, 2005

Printable multi-blog journals per niche?

I would like to see a weekly (or whatever) print magazine made from a simple compilation of blogs. There is more than enough content to create a high quality journal from a coalition of the best. While most of the infatuated community loves the online format just as it is, an additional audience awaits.

The contributors could be paid based on revenues, ensuring a modest profitability.

This weekly print could even be customized for the tastes of individual readers based on topics, authors, and interests. In addition to politics I am sure sports and hobbies could be accommodated- and targeted advertisements based on location and topic could tag along.

Distribution would be by mail and perhaps in airports, waiting rooms, barbershops, etc. and if you can imagine a niche of people waiting for something with similar interests, we can tailor a blog-print to catch their eye.

Anyway, why not leverage all this quality writing?

Saturday, January 15, 2005

In a knife fight?

Regarding the flock of scandals where Armstrong Williams, Markos Zuniga of Daily Kos and Jerome Armstrong of MyDD each took money from political agents, I cannot help but think that this is typical for how money and influence interact.

The powerful rarely bribe politicians to purchase support; they instead fund politicians who already agree with their agenda. Is this a whiter shade of pale?

If a given voice poses as a non-partisan who is objectively picking amongst issues and positions then and purchased influence would be more significant that these cases where people with a clear track record are paid to carry on as expected. Yes, I am thinking of CBS and Dan Rather again. They claim they have no bias, and their big report failed to consider evidence the networked coordinated activities with the Kerry campaign- and perhaps breaking the law. To me this deserves a larger focus.

Now, I agree the details of the financing should, in a perfect world, be transparent- and for politicians there is a legal obligation. But for citizens, I am not sure there is the same requirement.

Perhaps one day there will be an accreditation process and an oath for voices that want to be respected, from CBS to Kos to myself. Until then I am reminded of Ted Cassidy in a famous western: “Rules?!? In a knife fight??!?!!!”

I agree it all sounds shady, but in part because there were no actual surprises so far- I wonder if this is merely a tempest in a teapot. I mean, we are talking about free speech from private citizens.

What should we expect from our pundits?