'Tis The Season
Sorry for the lack of posts. I've been really quite lazy this holiday. It is the first year for a while that we have chosen to stay home, and it is amazing (a) how much needs to be done around here and (b) how lazy one can get when naps are available. I'll be back!
Still On The Road
Last week it was West Virginia and Philadelphia. This weekend it was Las Vegas. First thing tomorrow I fly off to New Orleans for the rest of the week. Hopefully I will get back to blogging regularly next weekend.
I fear that all the flights I've taken this year have wiped out my ecologically-sound footprint for not having a car since 1991.
I've been following the Foley scandal, of course. The intrinsic facts of the matter are rather boring (except perhaps to the people actually involved), and yet it is a major scandal. We are seeing once again that it is not what one does that is important, rather it is how one and others handle what one did that creates the problem. The cover-up is nearly always more important than the event itself.
I'm fascinated by the minutia: that the Rev. Moon's Washington Times -- a truly conservative bastion -- was the first media outlet to call for the resignation of Speaker Hastert; that Fox News would firm up its position as the GOP's propoganda arm by claiming tonight that Foley was a Democrat; that Katherine Harris doesn't have enough of her own problems without putting her nose into this one; how Tom Reynolds keeps digging his own grave deeper and deeper.
All this and an election in five weeks! It makes me weak at the knees.
Some time today, this morning probably, the 100,000th visitor will come to this site. I know there are blogs that get a hundred thousand hits a day -- but we ain't McDonalds here, and I think that 100,000 visits is a whole bunch.
I'm sorry this isn't a more lively or happening place these days. If the news ever becomes interesting again ....
My 100,000th visitor came in using an Estonian IP. I wish there was a prize or something.
Arianna Huffington vs Matt Drudge
As many of you will know, Arianna Huffington has just launched a new "liberal" group blog that has attracted contributions from a wide variety of luminaries. Matt Drudge -- the far-right Florida-based couch potato who believes that just because his blog gets so many hits that he is somehow important -- is so scared of this new phenomenon that he has scoured the gutters for any anti-Huffington stories he can find. I guess he is concerned that Arianna threatens his market share.
What the unimaginative Drudge fails to recognize is that Arianna's blog is completely different than his. For one thing, it actually has content. The Drudge Report has rarely been anything other than a long list of links to other people's creative work. Drudge creates nothing, he merely lists -- like a telephone book. Even the execrable Instapundit makes an attempt to surround his links with a little bit of context, but not the lazy Mr. Drudge.
Matt Drudge will probably always have more readers than Arianna Huffington but, just as the heavily used New York telephone directory will never compete intellectually with the New York Times, the Drudge Report cannot compare itself to real writing.
I have always been uncomfortable with the success that has surrounded the Instapundit site. It always seemed to me that Glenn Reynolds simply put down a list of other people's work without much comment. He was - and is -- a portal, with about as much personality. However, it was also clear after a while that his choice of material was hardly random. Finally, MaxSpeaks gets it right:
"InstaPundit ... likes to pretend he presides in some neutral, centrist way over a liberally-defined, politically diverse "blogosphere." This is clever, but false. In fact he's a jingoist right-wing hack who thrives on McCarthyism. His definition of the acceptable spectrum of opinion is geared to desensitizing readers to the excesses of the uncouth rhetoric that can be found on blogs he promotes."Right on, Max!
PS: Patrick Taylor at The Poison Kitchen is more succint.
A Typical Rightwing Censor
I don't usually link to the nuts and crazies out there, especially not to foul-mouthed bigots such as Pejman Yousefzadeh. I'd rather answer their disgusting drivel on their own sites. However, many of the worst offenders no longer accept any comments at all (they no doubt think that are too important to deal with the likes of you and me) or, like Pejman, they simply delete any comments -- like mine -- that try to bring a ray of light into their benighted little worlds.
In the lead up to the latest example of censorship, Pejman had launched into his usual nonsense against liberals and opponents of the State Corporatist Patriot Act. He claims -- without any evidence -- that most critics of the Act haven't even read it. With the exact same amount of evidence, I have tried twice now to post a comment that I would wager a larger percentage of opponents of the Act have read it than have the simple-minded conservatives who have simply accepted it as a mandate from their betters.
Pej and his ilk would, of course, prefer that the main body of the citizenry be left in ignorance. Thus the book burnings that characterize the history of his type, and the refusal of Pej to accept my comments in the present instance. The far right are the same as Trotskyists and religious cultists in this regard -- They believe that if they keep the people ignorant, the commons will in turn think the leaders are clever and have all the answers. Unfortunately, in a country like the USA where basic education is so lacking in breadth and depth, they might be right.