Sunday, January 11, 2004

Always Read To The End

I've cautioned readers of this blog to always read news stories to the very end, as that's often where the good stuff gets buried. Some inconvenient fact that mostly refutes the point of the story, some additional information that puts a different light on what the writer has said, some quote that can't be avoided but isn't highlighted either. It's always something, as they say.

In this story, about the annual convention of the Modern Language Association, the main point was that the professors in attendance were almost in lock-step in their opinions about the War on Terror's front in Iraq. Dissent was worse than scarce.

But read to the very, very end and you find this money quote:
[University of Nevada at Reno professor Aaron] Santesso said he gains a good perspective from his students, most of whom he characterized as "libertarian conservatives." Most of the debate at the MLA, he said, "would completely alienate my students."
Ah-HA! "Most" of his students? It's heartening to hear. If only the Libertarian Party was in any shape to take advantage of that.
This Man Wants To Be President?

Even though most folks seem to sidestep the fact that General Wesley Clark was fired from his most important job just months before he was to retire anyway, for being too "gung ho" about war for Clinton's delicate tastes, some Democrats actually think he'd make a good Commander in Chief.

And then he says something fundamentally stupid like this:
If I'm president of the United States, I'm going to take care of the American people. We are not going to have one of these [September 11, 2001] incidents.
Can anyone take this man seriously now? He's a soldier and he thinks he can get away with that statement? It's just not possible. For him to say that either means he's delusional, pandering or just not watching his words -- all good reasons to preclude him from the presidency in this context.

Serious-minded folks who support Wes Clark still are welcome to explain how this doesn't mean much to them. Don't compare with Bush's ineptery, stick to this. I'm just glad you're a minority of the electorate.
I Need A Safe Color

Chris over at Signifying Nothing started a train of thought for me, so blame him.

We used to be on the Orange Alert Level, but now we're on Yellow, except for the parts of our transportation, energy and national security apparatus that are still Orange. Yellow is not to be confused with the Amber Alert, which was briefly called last week and is completely different. That has already been cancelled. It makes me blue, which isn't the same clear blue of a beautiful, cloudless sky, but a more cobalt color, like the bomb and like the Blue Alert Level we'll never see, since there's always a threat somewhere from someone.

I'd say that makes me see Red, but even though that's the color of Elmo, a friendly little guy, it's also the "kiss your ass goodbye" Alert Level color of imminent death and it's the color of running blood.

I'd think of a field of grass, which is green and soothing, but that's the color of money, which is what it's all about. Everyone wants some; everyone needs it. It's the color of jealousy, which is what's driving the folks who make my world Yellow right now.

I need a safe color. Any ideas?
Fair's Fair

A lot of folks mistakenly assume I'm a Republican (hack, spit, ptui, ptui) because I don't bash Bush on this blog. There's plenty wrong with him domestically, and Mike over at Maikimo shows us exactly why. Pretty hilarious.

I had run into Mike's blog a while back and then lost it in the mess that is my Bookmarks file; I'm glad to have rediscovered it. Mike's philosophy and politics is pretty much diametrical to mine, but he writes a good blog. Go take a look.