Just Say "No!" To


Just Say "No!" To Blog Control!

According to Eugene Volokh, some radio guy named Hugh Hewitt wants to rank bloggers according to hierarchy. Hewitt speaks of the "power blogs" -- the Big Four Alliance, the Northern Alliance, the Southern Alliance, etc.

Nice try, but I think Hugh might have been in heavily regulated talk radio so long that he suffers from a need to find gatekeepers everywhere. As I said in an earlier blog, the primary difference between talk radio and blogging is that there are no real gatekeepers in the latter, whereas radio is a highly regulated, finite world of limited, extremely expensive bandwidth, assigned to them and rigorously policed by the government (notwithstanding a pesky little headache called the First Amendment). Democratic as the talk radio development was historically, peer to peer, direct audience participation takes this one step further, by removing any consideration of a host or anyone in charge of anything except his own blogs. Blogs may or may not receive feedback from other blogs. To the extent there is any Hierarchy of Blog, it is based on popularity.

That is freedom in the purest sense. I say this as a new, almost unknown blogger (in the "wannabe" stage) with a tiny audience. Yet, regardless of who reads this or anything else I write, there is no force on earth which can stop me from blogging. (Yet.)

I like that.


Shouldn't the UN Do Something about all this "Elitist" Blogging?

Jeff Soyer really got me going about hypocrites in Amnesty International (and their asshole buddies in the UN). What, pray tell, has Amnesty International to say about this? And what is the UN doing about it?

Nothing. And if the U.S. went in to stop the Congolese barbeque, how much do you want to bet that both Amnesty International and the UN would scream that it was another "imperialist adventure"?

No wonder Sparkey at Sgt. Stryker cites the above feast as "Reason #2395 on why I hate the UN."

Hating the UN?

Isn't that a hate crime?

Don't laugh yet. The "international community" regulates Yahoo and eBay, don't they?

posted by Eric at 12:36 PM




OKAY, OKAY, SO I


OKAY, OKAY, SO I AM NOT OKAY!!

I am a lifetime NRA member. (Is that "okay?") And, much as I like and respect Clayton Cramer for his admirable work on behalf of the Second Amendment, I must address his latest remarks about sodomy laws. (See my previous related blog. And if you enjoy that, here's something I wrote before I really began blogging in earnest.)

Back to Clayton Cramer's latest blog:

Laws express moral disapproval all the time. Think of the South Africa divesture fights of a few years ago, and laws against racial discrimination. A law criminalizing homosexual acts, while generally unenforceable, is a similar form of moral disapproval. This doesn't make such laws into totalitarianism. They can be an effective way to say, "We, as a society, think that there is something wrong with this." For those people who are trying to figure out how to respond to urges that they don't really understand, such laws act as an encouragement towards right behavior--and in some cases, may encourage them to look for help with their homosexuality. For others, such laws, by saying, "You aren't okay," make them miserable, without encouraging them to ask themselves any hard questions.

Clayton Cramer is a good man, and I enjoy reading his blogs, most of which I agree with most of the time. But when he decries Horowitz's entirely reasonable position as "over the top" I feel morally obliged to speak up.

It would be one thing if sodomy laws were merely, as Cramer says, expressions of moral disapproval, in the same way as anti-discrimination or laws requiring divestment. But his analogy fails, because there are four fundamental distinctions between anti-discrimination/divestment laws and sodomy laws:

1. Laws against discrimination derive from the notion that there is a victim, who has been harmed by the perpetrator;

2. Anti-discrimination laws penalize conduct which is not private or consensual in nature. Businesses are granted licenses to operate, and have legal duties to the public at large which are not shared by private individuals in their bedrooms. (If Cramer can point to a statute which prohibits discrimination in the bedroom, I could see his point.)

3. The penalties for discrimination are civil in nature, and I have not (yet) heard of a case where anyone faced prison for, say, refusing to grant a home loan or rent an apartment to a member of a protected group. Sodomy laws traditionally carry draconian penalties far in excess of any need to express social disapproval. True, there are many ways of saying "You aren't okay," but should a twenty-year prison term be one of them?

4. Enforceability. While generally speaking, anti-discrimination laws tend to be self-enforcing because of the presence of a victim, I am not at all comforted by the assurance that any law is "unenforceable." Laws against race mixing (which existed in America before the Nazis passed the Nuremburg Laws) were not particularly enforceable, but that is not an argument in their favor. And, as the state grows more powerful, and methods of crime detection more intrusive, laws which are "unenforceable" today might be easily enforceable tomorrow. Finally, it is not an argument in favor of a law to claim it is unenforceable; if anything it is an argument against having it clutter up the statute books!


Cramer claims Horowitz is wrong for invoking the totalitarian specter, but what Horowitz correctly asked was whether we "want government intruding on the voluntary associations we make as citizens or dictating to us our moral and spiritual choices." While this might not be full "totalitarianism," as Cramer says, such thinking certainly heads us more in the direction of totalitarianism than freedom.

In a free and civilized country, why should anyone get to decide what is "okay" unless there is demonstrable harm to someone else? Who gets to decide what is and is not "okay" and on what basis? How far should they go?

Let us assume that homos are really gross, sickening, disgusting, and even downright icky. Not only that, let us assume that all they need is a local shrink, or a good long prayer meeting. Once the power of the state is invoked to use the full criminal sanction against them for their offensiveness, why end there? I mean, aren't there other people who might be deemed offensive or disgusting?

Didn't the Nazis start by saying to the Jews, "You are not okay"?

posted by Eric at 04:46 PM



Homo Agenda Laid Bare!


Homo Agenda Laid Bare!

A lovely lady, The Misanthropic Bitch, has uncovered the REAL homosexual agenda!

This blessed woman has even gone to the trouble of infiltrating the seamy homosexual underworld, populated as it is by the most sickening people, caught right in the act of "canoodling and pretending that eternal damnation doesn't await them."

The agenda itself is terrifying. It's a real eye opener to read it in its entirety, and it's high time that Americans read it, and wake up!

posted by Eric at 10:25 AM



Ain't hard to be a

Ain't hard to be a bard?





[Thursday, May 29, 2003] Baghdad

[Thursday, May 29, 2003]

Baghdad Bob, Don't Leave Us!

Every blogger is dumping on Robert Scheer these days, and even though I'm still in the early "wannabe" blogger stages, I guess I am too. A couple of days ago I found the following absolute gem of a phrase:

"Brownshirt hoodlums of talk radio"
posted by Matt Welch. I just had to post the comment which I have to repeat here, because Scheer is rapidly becoming the Next Big Thing and I don't wanna be left out of the fun. Because when it happens, all we can do is just give in and be carried along by the scheer energy.

As he nears his dotage, Scheer's memory neurons strain and sputter, until at last distant shreds of 1960s sound bytes manage to trickle feebly within range of his diminishing mental grasp... The result is a bizarre, left-wing mutation of vintage Spiro Agnew -- best known for gems like "Nattering nabobs of negativism!", "Effete corps of impudent snobs!", and "Anile agitprops of antiwarism!"

I dearly love it!

I wish someone could tell Scheer about the great Robert Scheer Canard-O-Matic, which has been making the blog rounds. (Mike Silverman's version was almost as funny as Scheer's inspiring columns.)

In terms of "scheer" buffoonery, the guy is fast becoming a national treasure -- and in terms of entertainment value he's catching up with the beloved but missing Iraqi Information Minister.

Anyway, I want more Scheer! (And the stories are everywhere!)

If he is fired, though, where will we get such much-needed comic relief?

Ancient satirists would have loved this guy!




[Thursday, May 29, 2003]

Dying for freedom?

I consider this sort of thing to be the ultimate betrayal of those who died to help the forces of freedom.

They did NOT die to help these dark forces of Islamic tyranny!

My blogdaddy Jeff has already noted Amnesty International's complete hypocrisy on the subject. Checking out Amnesty's web site, I found not one word about the emerging Islamic tyranny in Iraq. (If anyone does, please let me know.) I haven't seen much blogging on this subject yet, but I can't wait! I guess the bloggers will have to do what is supposed to be Amnesty's job.

Next thing we'll see is a Mullahocracy move to strangle the Internet blogbabies in their cradle. That's exactly what a lot of people would like to do here, but we still have that pesky First Amendment.


[Wednesday, May 28, 2003]

When you're dead, who cares if you're White or Male?

I wanted to address a concern expressed earlier (by a rather cool guy) about dead white males, but before I do that, I want to express my gratitude to Mike Silverman for two things:

1. For not complaining when I stole his Mad Libs version of the famous Scheer "Canard-O-Matic" and used it as a Republican Schism-O-Matic. I am still learning about basic rules of propriety in blogdom, and the best way to learn is to make up the rules as you violate them. (Maybe violate the rules as you make them up.)

2. For turning me on to the ultimate book on dead white males, a lovely book called Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers, by Mary Roach. A real gem of gallows humor, and I don't know how I'll ever manage to die without it. ("You are a person and then you cease to be a person, and a cadaver takes your place.") Death lives on!

On to the connection of "classical values" with dead white men. And my thanks to Josh for getting me started.

AIDS killed most of my friends -- leaving me alone to ponder the paradox of my survival. I lived merely because I didn't like to get fucked -- which seems unfair. But who asked this hitherto unknown virus about fairness? My friends are now mostly dead white males, which is the destiny of all who were born male and Caucasian. I certainly do not consider any of their ideas to be any less valid now that they are dead any more than I considered them invalid because of race or sex when they were alive.

The ancients did not judge ideas or people by skin color, nor did they devalue ideas because the person who had them died. I think confusion has been created because fundamentalist extremists -- in the glorious tradition of those who gave us the Inquisition, witch hunts, torture, religious wars, and death -- attempt to claim our past in their name. They claim that "traditional values" are their bigoted fundamentalist values, and hence they have a right to force them on the rest of us. They ignore the Renaissance, the Enlightenment, and numerous other attempts to liberate Western civilization from such tyranny. They even try to insinuate their bigoted beliefs into our own American revolution. The problem is, they were here all along, and even the founders had to accommodate their intolerance and their slavery lest there be no America to found.

What disturbs me is to see so many people who don't take the time to educate themselves all too willing to throw the Greek-Roman "baby" out with the fundamentalist "bathwater."

That baby was the seed of freedom, art, creativity, and free spirituality, and it proved too much for the forces of control that claim the right to tell man what to do in the name of their tyrannical deity. So, they gave the baby a vicious, gratuitous bath. A very dirty bath it was: bloody, murderous, barbaric, deliberately ignorant. Over the centuries people who yearn for freedom have tried to throw out the bathwater and we have seen periods like the Renaissance -- only to see the baby grabbed anew and then thrown once again into the dark and terrible waters of Puritanism, Calvinism, and the Inquisition. They've scalded, beaten, burned and drowned the baby, and cut off pieces of its genitalia. They have smashed, looted and burned, destroying beauty every step of the way.

Yet in spite of all this, the baby (which I call Classical Values), still lives. It would be tragic if, in a reaction against the horrible bloody bathwater, the baby is thrown out along with it. If we toss out Greco-Roman values simply because of the excesses of fundamentalist Judeo-Christianity, then I fear that a wave of malignant nihilism could eventually destroy the good aspects of our culture, much as Rome was trashed and sacked by Visigoths and Vandals in the Fifth Century (and then again by Protestant fundamentalists in 1527.)

Extremist utopian thinking (which characterizes much of the fundamentalist right as well as the Marxist left) springs in my opinion from the dark, intolerant side of Judeo-Christianity which is steeped in authoritarianism and believes in moral compulsion by force. While fundamentalists claim to be acting for God, and Marxists claim to be acting for man (or "science") the underlying motive -- perfecting man by force -- is the same. Whether sexual morality at gunpoint (fundamentalism) or economic morality at gunpoint (Marxism), the logical fallacy is similar, and, I believe, is grounded in misinterpretation of religious texts.

I for one do not believe that Judaism (a highly civilized and tolerant religion) is responsible for the tyranny that uses its name in that hyphenated word which has become code language for fundamentalism. Nor is Christianity (especially its original version) responsible per se. Nor are dead white males as a group. It is wrong to blame individuals for the acts of others merely because they are done in their name. But some individuals really are the problem. Some of them are alive.

And some of them, I really wish they would join this guy, and after that, just stay dead!

posted by Eric at 12:26 AM




When you're dead, who cares if you're White or Male?

I wanted to address a concern expressed earlier (by a rather cool guy) about dead white males, but before I do that, I want to express my gratitude to Mike Silverman for two things:

1. For not complaining when I stole his Mad Libs version of the famous Scheer "Canard-O-Matic" and used it as a Republican Schism-O-Matic. I am still learning about basic rules of propriety in blogdom, and the best way to learn is to make up the rules as you violate them. (Maybe violate the rules as you make them up.)

2. For turning me on to the ultimate book on dead white males, a lovely book called Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers, by Mary Roach. A real gem of gallows humor, and I don't know how I'll ever manage to die without it. ("You are a person and then you cease to be a person, and a cadaver takes your place.") Death lives on!

On to the connection of "classical values" with dead white men. And my thanks to Josh for getting me started.

AIDS killed most of my friends -- leaving me alone to ponder the paradox of my survival. I lived merely because I didn't like to get fucked -- which seems unfair. But who asked this hitherto unknown virus about fairness? My friends are now mostly dead white males, which is the destiny of all who were born male and Caucasian. I certainly do not consider any of their ideas to be any less valid now that they are dead any more than I considered them invalid because of race or sex when they were alive.

The ancients did not judge ideas or people by skin color, nor did they devalue ideas because the person who had them died. I think confusion has been created because fundamentalist extremists -- in the glorious tradition of those who gave us the Inquisition, witch hunts, torture, religious wars, and death -- attempt to claim our past in their name. They claim that "traditional values" are their bigoted fundamentalist values, and hence they have a right to force them on the rest of us. They ignore the Renaissance, the Enlightenment, and numerous other attempts to liberate Western civilization from such tyranny. They even try to insinuate their bigoted beliefs into our own American revolution. The problem is, they were here all along, and even the founders had to accommodate their intolerance and their slavery lest there be no America to found.

What disturbs me is to see so many people who don't take the time to educate themselves all too willing to throw the Greek-Roman "baby" out with the fundamentalist "bathwater."

That baby was the seed of freedom, art, creativity, and free spirituality, and it proved too much for the forces of control that claim the right to tell man what to do in the name of their tyrannical deity. So, they gave the baby a vicious, gratuitous bath. A very dirty bath it was: bloody, murderous, barbaric, deliberately ignorant. Over the centuries people who yearn for freedom have tried to throw out the bathwater and we have seen periods like the Renaissance -- only to see the baby grabbed anew and then thrown once again into the dark and terrible waters of Puritanism, Calvinism, and the Inquisition. They've scalded, beaten, burned and drowned the baby, and cut off pieces of its genitalia. They have smashed, looted and burned, destroying beauty every step of the way.

Yet in spite of all this, the baby (which I call Classical Values), still lives. It would be tragic if, in a reaction against the horrible bloody bathwater, the baby is thrown out along with it. If we toss out Greco-Roman values simply because of the excesses of fundamentalist Judeo-Christianity, then I fear that a wave of malignant nihilism could eventually destroy the good aspects of our culture, much as Rome was trashed and sacked by Visigoths and Vandals in the Fifth Century (and then again by Protestant fundamentalists in 1527.)

Extremist utopian thinking (which characterizes much of the fundamentalist right as well as the Marxist left) springs in my opinion from the dark, intolerant side of Judeo-Christianity which is steeped in authoritarianism and believes in moral compulsion by force. While fundamentalists claim to be acting for God, and Marxists claim to be acting for man (or "science") the underlying motive -- perfecting man by force -- is the same. Whether sexual morality at gunpoint (fundamentalism) or economic morality at gunpoint (Marxism), the logical fallacy is similar, and, I believe, is grounded in misinterpretation of religious texts.

I for one do not believe that Judaism (a highly civilized and tolerant religion) is responsible for the tyranny that uses its name in that hyphenated word which has become code language for fundamentalism. Nor is Christianity (especially its original version) responsible per se. Nor are dead white males as a group. It is wrong to blame individuals for the acts of others merely because they are done in their name. But some individuals really are the problem. Some of them are alive.

And some of them, I really wish they would join this guy, and after that, just stay dead!

posted by Eric at 04:20 PM | Comments (1)



NATURAL NEWS FLASH!!! In


NATURAL NEWS FLASH!!!

In one of the most earthshaking developments in biotaxonomy since Karl Linnaeus, British blogsite Samizdata and the noted evolution scholar, Senator Rick Santorum, profoundly disagree on the scope of homo populations -- and even on proper usage of the word "homo" itself!

According to reliable sources at Scrappleface, Senator Santorum is fighting to stop the spread of Culture War politics to our less educated fellow simians:

"If a chimp is a Homo," said the Senator, "Then it's only a matter of time before someone starts lobbying to get health insurance for same-genus domestic partners."

Meanwhile, in what promises to be a major linguistic as well as scientific battle, the good folks at Samizdata are plowing gamely on despite Santorum's withering broadside. They have even proposed adding a long list of new homos to our already overcrowded, globalized Homo Village. I am not a scientist, so I don't understand the details of the new terminology, but here is Samizdata's complete homo list:
-Homo collectivicus
-Homo nonsensicus
-Homo socialist
-Homo communist
-Homo transnationalis

(You'll have to go to the experts at Samizdata for the details of these exciting classifications, which also include discussion of a proposed new genus category for a highly degenerated, inbred homo variety, to be renamed Bureaucratii).

The most startling aspect of the new developments?

EACH IDENTIFIED HOMO POPULATION GROUP HAS ITS OWN HOMO FLAG! (I am absolutely not making this up; go to Samizdata and see!)

Good work by Samizdata! I would say that Senator Santorum has his work cut out for him! This promises to be the most spellbinding development science has seen since the Scopes monkey trial.

I will of course endeavor to keep readers posted.

posted by Eric at 01:23 AM



Divide and Conquer --


Divide and Conquer -- An Ancient Strategy

Joel Mowbray demonstrates that the word "neocon" (I guess that's less of a mouthful than "neoconservative") is becoming new code language for "Jew."

As someone who tries to be "bicoastal" (as contradictory a mouthful as "bisexual') I have seen anti-Semitism on both coasts, although considerably more on the East than on the West Coast. I am quite accustomed to euphemisms and code language; for years I have heard snide inside references to "New York types." (Wink-wink!) "Neocon" strikes me as a clever way of attempting to insinuate a new, "bipartisan" anti-Semitism by bringing together elements of the older anti-Semitic right with the newer anti-Semitic left. (Reminds me of certain unholy alliances during the Seattle anti "globalization" campaign….)

Americans hate bigotry and I hope these cheap demagogues fail big time!


And here's some good news about someone who is really going the extra mile to stop such reckless Culture War divisiveness…

David Horowitz has come under an enormous amount of fire because of his earlier statements against extreme intolerance by certain moral conservatives. It took courage for him to speak up, and now that he is catching heat for it, he has refused to back down.

His piece is entitled "Render Unto Caesar," and it is another masterpiece. Be sure to read it!

My worst nightmare is that if reasonable people do not speak out, unethical politicians in this country will continue to push relentlessly towards a false dichotomy already taking form, where the official choice will be, simply: Marxism versus Fundamentalism.

That to me is not right versus left, it does not represent the American people's thinking, and indeed, it is not a choice at all. But if the shut out libertarian majority doesn't speak up, these loudest and most obnoxious minorities of the two parties will have their way, and it won't be an either/or situation.

We'll get both!

Freedom will not be on the menu.

That, unfortunately, is the dark side of power!

posted by Eric at 12:03 AM




Those Who Honor Evil


Those Who Honor Evil Ignore History

Jonah Goldberg reports that the lovable, sentimental German volk are considering the erection of a brand-new statue of Vladimir Lenin to replace the one toppled when the Wall fell. Goldberg follows with a culturally insensitive reminder that there are probably "still a few old Hitler statues lying around somewhere in Germany."

Last time there was a serious movement to put up a Hitler statue, it was in Uganda under Idi Amin. The Russians threatened to cut off his foreign aid if he followed through with the plan, so it never happened. (Amin is now living happily ever after in -- guess where? -- Saudi Arabia!)

Times change?

Certainly, there is nothing new about defacing the statues and monuments to disgraced tyrants, especially when the tyrants are safely out of the way. We just saw an example in Iraq.

In fact, the defacing of monuments to tyranny has a long and glorious pagan history. Rome had more than its share of bad guy emperors: Nero, Caligula, Commodus, and various lesser-known wannabes. Caligula was so hated, so far off the deep end, that they did more than destroy his statues; they melted down or defaced as many coins as they could find, which makes a decent Caligula coin exceptionally valuable to modern collectors.

As Lord Acton observed "power corrupts," and those who held power in ancient times were no exception. They left valuable warning lessons in the excesses of power, which have been ignored and ignored, century after century.

Commodus, another nutcase emperor, imagined himself to be Hercules, and somehow, a few statues survived as a testament to his monstrous ego (as well as a permanent embarrassment to Rome.)

Behold Commodus in all his vainglorious beauty! All Heil! Note: Before anyone leaps to the usual conclusions, let us not forget the historically discomforting irony that unlike his father, the great Marcus Aurelius, Commodus was a real softie where it came to Christians. That, however, does not automatically render him "good."

Sorry as the Caligula or Commodus chapters in their history were, the Romans never would have considered reviving the cults of their mentally ill emperors. What's with these Germans, anyway? (Maybe we shouldn't be surprised after the horror story uncovered by Glenn Reynolds recently.) Then, there's this.

Haven't they heard the expression, "Fool me once..."? For that matter, haven't we heard it? I mean, here I am, getting all pissed off at the Germans just for being good Germans. Sure, they looked the other way while their fellow citizens died under Hitler, then Stalin, and then after twice being delivered from evil, they still want to kill Jews, and still want to put up statues to bloodthirsty tyrants.

But look at what "good Americans" do to their fellow Americans. I used quotation marks because I still cling to the fiction that here in the United States we have a justice system that works. Why? So I can sleep at night, I guess.

Thank the gods that at least the bloggers are not silent about such atrocities. What would we say to the founding fathers?

posted by Eric at 12:09 AM




One Last Divine Morsel...


One Last Divine Morsel...

The gods eat too!

And when they eat in America, they eat... breakfast tacos! Don't take it from me; I am not making it up at all; my thanks to Sergeant Stryker for pointing it out, because if I started making claims like that without supporting documentation, I would lose all credibility before I ever had any. (Like sticking your foot in your mouth before you can get it in the door.)

Healthy paganism (the ultimate form of intelligent life) is alive and well among bloggers!

So is good taste in food.


posted by Eric at 08:04 AM



(posted Sunday May 25 and

(posted Sunday May 25 and reposted because this blogger editor is acting up.)

Made Up "Phony" Religion?

Is it acceptable to make up religion? On my very own quasi-neo-pseudo-pagan web site? That is a legitimate question, because I think I have discovered a new god -- the god of telemarketing revenge! I do hope the link remains good and the photo loads -- at least for the duration of ripeness of this post.

This new god is obviously the son of Mercury (the god of communication, speech, speed, telephones, and blogging) and Nemesis (the goddess of revenge).

While I would not stoop so low as to advocate telephone sex or dirty talk at a dignified web site like this, the new god reminded me of the best way I have found to make to make telephone solicitors hang up fast. Simply ask the solicitor (or solicitrix) following question:

"What are you wearing?"

I think that is a legitimate enough question, but every time I have tried it, the caller hangs up. Why do people get all offended by a perfectly innocent question like that?

What I would want to do (if these people would have the decency of replying) would be to tell them that I really don't like conducting business with strangers on the phone unless I can first establish trust. In order to do that, I must insist that both sides (let's be fair) remove their clothes.

Then, and only then, can we get down to the "business at hand."

There is no need to inject religion into a business transaction, but I suppose that with an especially stubborn, callused telemarketer, one could gently drop a holy hint.

I don't think they like to talk about that either.

posted by Eric at 07:59 AM



(posted Saturday May 24, and

(posted Saturday May 24, and reposted because this blogger editor is acting up.)

When the Gates are Open, We are at War!

"I set out on this ground which I suppose to be self evident, that the earth belongs in usufruct to the living that the dead have neither powers nor rights over it..."

--Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, 1789


People speak of the distinction between professional (mainstream media) journalists and bloggers as if the latter aspire to the former. While it may be true that the best and the brightest bloggers will inevitably find themselves outgrowing their status as "pure" bloggers (and there is no reason why they should not, because they need to make a living after all), the mere fact that they will move "up" to mainstream journalism neither diminishes blogging's important status as the Sixth Estate (Is that number taken?), nor does it mean that bloggers are merely amateurs doing the same thing as professionals.

Bloggers are to mainstream journalists as talk radio is to television -- a different venue. We should not forget why talk radio became the phenomenon of the 1990s. It was not simply because people needed to hear "the other side" of the story. There was a very important additional element: talk radio provided TWO WAY communication.

That's the key to understanding why blogging is not an amateur version of mainstream journalism. Mainstream journalism means never having to be held accountable, and never providing the opportunity for the general public to communicate. Blogging is pure communication.

When was the last time anyone saw Peter Jennings "link" to Dan Rather? The idea is absurd, as is the idea of any real degree of audience participation, much less participation by and with an audience of peers. Democratic as the talk radio development was historically, peer to peer, direct audience participation takes this one step further, by removing any consideration of a host or anyone in charge of anything except his own blogs. These blogs are dependent on other blogs for mutual feedback. (Contrast this with Jayson Blair's pathetic "links" to "anonymous sources." Bloggers don't have throats deep enough to swallow such nonsense.)

Thus, blogging is unique, and it will not die off as the best of the bloggers move on to bigger pastures in mainstream news and broadcasting media.

There was a piece missing when I wrote the above analysis, and I just found it here thanks to this link.

Naturally, the tie-in invokes the classical gods: as author Eric Jannsen says, blogging has now freed us from the gatekeeper, big media. This very artificial gatekeeper construct was the past trying to prevent, and trying to control, the present. Pure decadence, in its worst form -- in this case presided over by modern media titans who do not realize that the gate is open and they have lost the war.

The past cannot shut the door now that we have crossed the threshold, for the simple reason that the past cannot slam the door on the present! Janus, god of gates and doors, which are open during war -- knows this and loves bloggers for opening the door and going through it. And he is powerful -- one of the most powerful of all the gods. The gatekeepers of the past defy him at their peril. Haven't these fools learned what every farmer knows?

You can't close the door after the horse is gone!

posted by Eric at 07:55 AM




Many Dimes Worth of Sense

Many Dimes Worth of Sense

Good old Glenn Reynolds has gotten me worked up again!

It bothers me to hear bloggers characterized as mainly reacting to mainstream media stories which are later "closed out" by (guess who?) the mainstream media itself!

I take it the Story of All Stories will be the "Rise and Fall of Blogs" story. That's what the mainstream media want -- as long as they get to be in charge.

Trouble for them is, things don't work that way when you're dealing with Chaos. Like their immediate predecessors (those Masters of Chaos known as Point to Point file sharers) bloggers have rediscovered a basic principle of the Internet; it allows for infinite amounts of free communication from anyone to anyone.

Mainstream media is inherently at odds with this, because by definition they are dealing with a finite world of limited, extremely expensive bandwidth, assigned to them and rigorously policed by the government, notwithstanding a pesky little headache called the First Amendment.

Free speech is a big problem for them. It's free! And nowadays, it's fast!

Mercury, of course, was the Roman communication god: a god of speech as well as speed. Back in the days when our money was worth its face value, Mercury's head appeared on the American dime. Same size, shape, and subject matter as the Roman denarius.

Mercury is my candidate as the God of Blog.

posted by Eric at 01:08 PM



Gratuitous Medical Advice Feeling


Gratuitous Medical Advice

Feeling drained, need to get unblogged?

Here's something not to do if you get depressed!

posted by Eric at 12:52 AM




Americans IDOLIZE Classical Values!

Americans IDOLIZE Classical Values! ISLAMIC BIGOTS BACK OFF!

Here's another reason we need to return to Classical Values; the latest horror in the Culture War is a diktat from the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) that America henceforth be referred to as a country founded upon "Judeo-Christian-Islamic values."

Oh yeah?

There are 1.4 million Hindus in the United States.

American Indians practiced polytheism before, during, and after this country's founding.

While various forms of the Christian religion predominated at the time of the founding, the founding fathers were well versed in Classical Values, and were quite careful to place no religious references in the Constitution other than a guarantee that the federal government neither establish religion nor interfere with it. The Constitution contains not a single reference to God; not even in the presidential oath of office. The phrase "under God" was not inserted into the Pledge of Allegiance until 1954.

Hardly sounds to me like bedrock Judeo-Christian values, but even if some of the founders' individual religious views influenced their political thinking, the assertion that "Islamic values" had anything to do with the founding of this country is preposterous.

Classical Values mean the right to be left alone in matters of religion. Neither religious compulsion nor religious intolerance. Rome's religious tolerance allowed all gods to exist, and extended special tolerance to the Jewish faith until rebellions triggered a brutal Imperialist crackdown. Whether the Roman adoption of Imperialism was true to Classical Values is debatable, but few would dispute that democratic and republican principles -- the very basis of this country's founding, that we hold more dear than anything else -- originated in ancient Greece and Rome.

Notwithstanding the obvious historic tensions which were to develop between Greco-Roman values and Judeo-Christian values, Islam (being later, and Medieval) had nothing to do with either.

Like the Romans before them, the founding fathers would have conceded the right of Muslims to practice their religion freely. But let them abuse that freedom and infringe the rights of others, well...

The Romans had a goddess called Justitia.

SO DO WE!

She holds the Scales of Justice and her statue adorns American courts.

Nothing Islamic about that!

What could very well be considered Islamic, of course, would be to blow up our statues of Justice!

The Romans would not have tolerated that, and neither should we!

posted by Eric at 07:56 PM



Enough is Enough! I don't

Enough is Enough!

I don't know if I'm allowed to engage in copycat antics on my blogsite, but Mike Silverman's infectious genius (inspired by Shark Blog's Canard-O-Matic) made it utterly impossible for me to leave the idea alone.

I humbly present the Conservative Schism-O-Matic -- and I deeply apologize if I haven't been inclusive enough or if I have hurt anyone's feelings.


Republican told that they had been over and threatened ominously that would not retain the same if the and the in the Republican Party.

(Idea as well as free html lesson in this sort of thing stolen directly from Mike Silverman)

posted by Eric at 04:40 PM | TrackBacks (1)




Those Derogatory Cookies! Satire not

Those Derogatory Cookies!

Satire not allowed at UCLA?


Satire?

You have to be kidding!

Read and weep!

posted by Eric at 09:51 PM



Neopaleoquasimodo, Bell Ringer of National Greatness Fusionism

Help!

The definition of "conservative" or even "right" has never been a more contentious issue.

Will someone please define the word "conservative" for me? How about "right" or "right wing?" What do these terms mean? As a libertarian, I'd like very much to know, because I am often accused by the left of being on the right or of being a conservative, but then I am sometimes made uneasy by a variety of people who call themselves conservative, who threaten to cast me out as somehow unworthy of that appellation.

The liberals certainly won't have me. That I know. All I have to do is open my mouth about the Second Amendment, and good Democrats give me this look. You know -- the kind of look moral conservatives usually reserve for those who might be seen as solicitors of funding for struggling gay scoutmasters.

I try to be consistent about freedom, which is why I am proud to tell people I belong to both the NRA and the ACLU. But that gets me into more trouble than I can handle, which forces me into a kind of selective political editing. The political gets pretty damn personal.

But what about conservatism? I have never seen so much fussing over terminology than in recent months, and things are getting so bad that if something isn't done soon, the entire right wing will self destruct over definitional differences without ever getting to the issues themselves.

Sure, we've all heard of moral or social conservatives, and of course economic conservatives, and then there are libertarians, who have been alternately rejected or accepted depending on who's asking (and whether they define themselves as "libertarian conservatives").

So what the hell is all this neocon, paleocon, fusionist, national greatness stuff, and why is it threatening a divisive divide over definitional divisions?

Pat Buchanan's highly opinionated erstwhile campaign pit bull, Justin Raimondo, sure seems to know. A fervently antiwar libertarian (unlike this blogger), he obviously feels that no libertarian should have supported the war in Iraq, and is now reveling in the definitional crisis. As I would not qualify as a libertarian under his standard (never mind whether the fusionists, nationalgreatnessists, neoimperialists, or others would allow me near their various tents), I am probably not within the conservative "mainstream" Raimondo now champions. (I hope he doesn't have anything against bloggers, though, and I am afraid to ask. I do want to be loved.)

It is one thing to argue about policy and engage in reasoned discourse. There is no law saying we have to agree with each other. And I have always hated dividing the world into liberals versus conservatives as if there's no other choice. But when there no longer exists even a basic definition of conservative, I would say the liberals have it made!

If conservatives aren't careful, they will devolve from the Big Tent to the 1920s Polish Senate. I say this as someone not all that comfortable with the term "conservative" or even "right." History shows that first, they define you against your will. The other stuff comes later.

I'm lucky I started blogging. The only accusation I have seen leveled against bloggers so far is a vague and hypocritical charge of elitism.

From what I have seen so far, bloggers share only one thing in common: literacy. If things have reached the point where to be literate is to be a member of the elite, then bloggers ought to worry about another endangered Classical Value: a basic classical education. Few things have warmed my heart so much as the good writing and good thinking positively emanating from blogs everywhere. Education is good! This charming blog is a perfect example of why.

posted by Eric at 07:22 PM



When Guns Are Outlawed, Terrorists

When Guns Are Outlawed, Terrorists Will Still Have Guns!

My blogdaddy worries about gun control in Iraq. I am worried too, because while it might be a necessary evil for us to use combat-trained soldiers as police (despite the philosophical conflict with our constitutional traditions), should their very first lessons in police work involve confiscating privately owned firearms?

Many of these guys will come back here and find work as police officers.

I join Jeff in hoping that this will be a very temporary deal.

posted by Eric at 06:55 PM




24 Years Ago Today....

On May 21, 1979, in the famous "Twinkie insanity" case, a sympathetic jury found disgruntled former San Francisco Supervisor Dan White guilty only of manslaughter despite the fact that he had coldbloodedly assassinated two people: San Francisco Mayor George Moscone, and the nation's first gay city Supervisor, Harvey Milk (a man who endorsed me when I ran for ASUC Senate at UC Berkeley).

It was obvious to many that the killing of Milk, an open homosexual, was a mitigating factor in the jury's thinking, i.e., had White stopped short of killing Milk and only left the Mayor dead, he would have been considered a cold blooded assassin, and received a life sentence for murder. That this handsome young man had (as an afterthought) killed an open homosexual changed things in the minds of the elderly female jury -- much to White's favor. Accustomed as homosexuals generally are to being treated like shit, this went too far. We might come cheap, but not THAT cheap.

Anyway, a huge gay riot ensued, many people were injured, a dozen police cars were burned, City Hall was trashed, and the police later staged an invasion of a popular gay bar in reprisal, beating the crap out of innocent old queens who'd had nothing to do with the riot. (A lesson in being very careful about deliberately unleashing the forces of Chaos.)

I was there. Never mind what I may or may not have done. Suffice it to say that when he endorsed me for my teensy little ASUC Senate office, Harvey Milk told me that the reason he had run for office at his age (and he was older then than I am now, and I am plenty old!) was "for you young guys!" That's called imparting wisdom, and it is another Classical Value. Anyway, to my way of thinking, nobody kills somebody who helps me out by imparting wisdom to me! Not if I can do something about it, and even though I couldn't stop the assassination, on May 21, 1979 the least I could do was help avenge it.

Mars, Apollo, and Nemesis were all present that night.

The assassinations catapulted Dianne Feinstein into office as Mayor of San Francisco, thus launching her gun-grabbing career and ultimately landing her in the United States Senate where to this day she reigns as a sort of Grand Ayatollah of Gun Control, and mother of the nation's infamous "assault weapons" ban. (You can read about my experience trying to get a "Gay Guns" float into her city's tamer, more politically correct, "we are an angry gentle people" style Lesbian/Gay/Etc. parades.) What a riot! (Sometimes I still laugh.) Dianne Feinstein didn't think "we" had it in us, and the police were caught unprepared.

As riots go, this one was neat and tidy. The Opera House was spared despite the angry exhortations by Trotskyists and other wild, mostly straight lefties that we burn it, and similarly, their demands that we attack the Federal Building were given short shrift. Crazy as I was back then, I will never forget seeing tender young office queens all dressed up like they'd just left work, busily and systematically throwing rocks and torching police cars, pausing to gasp and giggle in horror at their own handiwork. Next thing, they were holding hands, and even french-kissing in front of the flaming police cars. It is sometimes forgotten what motivates people on such historic occasions. I remember like yesterday the demonic ferocity activated within these otherwise most unlikely rioters by on-the-spot slogans: "Yes, you may well get hurt. YOU MAY DIE! WE MAY ALL DIE!! Go back to being a silly queen tomorrow! Tonight is for every time you have been called a 'faggot' in your life!"

Sometimes, there is dignity in fighting, or even in dying, (to quote American revolutionary James Otis) "so that a man can stand up."

At the time of the Dan White Riots, I was working with a typical retired San Francisco cop and a typical retired San Francisco fireman. They thought Dan White had done the city a good deed -- and the cop stated that he should be freed! Then as now, I felt privileged to be on at least speaking terms with both sides of this blasted, ongoing "Culture War."

I did not want the damned war then, and I do not want it now. Vengeance is wrong, even though it seemed right at the time. Identity politics is wrong, even though it seemed right at the time.

Deliberately fallible, the old gods taught that there is a time for everything, sometimes even wrong things. We can learn from our mistakes, and in ancient times, the gods were there so we could also learn from their mistakes, and not have to repeat them.

It's all reason enough for me to blog.

posted by Eric at 10:24 PM



Moral Conservatives and the "Homosexual

Moral Conservatives and the "Homosexual Agenda"

In a stunningly brilliant (and very well timed) piece, David Horowitz analyzes the recent uproar by some moral conservatives over the fact that the White House dared to even meet (gasp!) with a homosexual group.

I suggest you read the whole piece, but here's a nice appetizer:

..[T]he very term "homosexual agenda," is an expression of intolerance as well. Since when do all homosexuals think alike? In fact, thirty percent of the gay population voted Republican in the last presidential election. This is a greater percentage than blacks, Hispanics or Jews. Were these homosexuals simply deluded into thinking that George Bush shared their agendas? Or do they perhaps have agendas that are as complex, diverse and separable from their sexuality as women, gun owners or Christians, for that matter?

In your confusion on these matters, you have fallen into the trap set for you by your enemies on the left. It is the left that insists its radical agendas are the agendas of blacks and women and gays. Are you ready to make this concession -- that the left speaks for these groups, for minorities and "the oppressed?" Isn’t it the heart of the conservative argument that liberalism (or, as I would call it, leftism) is bad doctrine for all humanity, not just white Christian males?


Glad to see a basic American ideal -- the right to make up your own mind in a logical manner without regard to identity politics -- being asserted so articulately by a leading conservative.

Classical logic!

Minerva would approve!

posted by Eric at 02:42 PM




HOWL? Was this test really

HOWL?

Was this test really necessary? The test results are supposed tell you which animal you are. Anyway, I took it, and I guess I am not surprised to be a wolf. My Ham call is K9GUY and I have always lived in packs.

How is this relevant to Classical Values, you ask?

What animal do you think raised Romulus and Remus, anyway?

Wolf
What Is Your Animal Personality?

brought to you by Quizilla

posted by Eric at 10:16 PM



PAY NO ATTENTION TO THAT LITTLE BANNER AD AT THE TOP OF THIS PAGE!!!

(unless, of course, you think ignoring it will make it go away)

I have been enjoying the little ad banner which appears from time to time above my blog page, as it is nice to know someone is reading my blog.

Regeneration Books Christian help for sexual healing Change is possible. www.regenbooks.org

What's this? Sexual healing? Finding a religious "cure" for "homosexuality"? On MY WEBSITE?

Hey, am I supposed to be pissed off or what?

My first reaction is that I can't help but notice that the ad is accompanied by its own advertisement from blogger.com -- "Get rid of this advertisement," with a corresponding link to information on an ad-free blog page.

If thine ad offends thee, pluck it out?

Much as I might have thought I would have better things to do than be forced to address reparative therapy for homosexuality on this website, some people have placed this ad on my website, and because it stares me in the face, I would be a coward to pay money to get rid of it. Besides, I am too cheap right now. I should be glad to know that I have a "sponsor!"

So, rather than be offended and take the coward's way out, I think for now I'll just let them bombard me and all "homosexual" visitors with advertising I am sure many would consider "hurtful and offensive." (And please DON'T COMPLAIN TO ME ABOUT THE BANNER AD! Because I am trying to address it. If you are offended, talk to blogger.com.)

Healing, especially healing someone sexually, is a complex topic, one which I touched on earlier when I discussed penis spam.

I guess that's life on the Internet. At home you're bombarded with emails telling you to grow larger penises, and then when you try to "work" on your blogsite, people are telling you how to use your penis properly -- and how to get "cured" if you use it the wrong way! Both of these approaches are gratuitous in the extreme, because I requested neither a larger penis nor instructions on how to use it.

Using a strictly medical model, I guess you could say that information on growing a bigger penis is a health issue -- although the fact that the claims are obviously false place the spam more in the category of snake oil salesmen, faith healers, or psychic surgeons.

But let's return to the banner ad for "healing." My proud advertiser, "Regeneration Books Christian Resources for Healing Homosexuality and Brokenness" (sponsored by an outfit called Exodus International) is not telling you to heal your physical penis; rather they are saying that your sexual desires, if homosexual, make you broken and in need of their form of healing.

It is amazing to me how many books they sell which are apparently written on this subject. I won't list all of them, as I am not going to go out of my way to promote the lifestyle choices of my "sponsor." However, here's one book taken at random:

First Steps Out of Homosexuality:How to Find Lasting Freedom by Frank Worthen Item: PR-04 Publisher: Exodus Our Price: $ 4.00 Another helpful booklet from the series of practical inexpensive helps from Exodus International-North America. This booklet gives practical advice for the man or woman just leaving the homosexual lifestyle. Written by one of the elders of the ex-gay movement, this booklet is practical and encouraging.

I am all for freedom, and that includes the right to leave any lifestyle. That is because the right to join something includes the right to leave it. Just as you have a right to own or collect guns and practice target shooting or hunting, you have just as much right to get rid of all your guns, stop going to the range, and "leave the lifestyle."

Say! I wonder if Sarah Brady and her crowd have thought of this one! Reparative therapy for gun nuts! "Leaving the guns behind!" Practical tips! Like, what to do if a burglar breaks in, perhaps?

Returning to the people telling me to leave the homosexual lifestyle, what kind of practical inexpensive tips are we talking about? How about what to do with that pesky lover who has lived with you for ten years and is now dying of AIDS. Throw him out? Or cure him of sexual desires he no longer has on his deathbed? Teach him how to sexually copulate with women so he can start all over?

Is that it? Do they simply want to shame all homos into enrolling themselves in how-to courses on the finer arts of penile-vaginal intercourse? (The latter I discussed in a blog last year.)

Surfing about in the expensive and seductive web pages, I do not think courses in the latter are what they offer...

Well, I will say one thing: when they say "inexpensive," they mean it! The above book costs just four dollars, and the other ones are equally inexpensive. Where the hell can you get a book these days for four dollars? How many books do you think they actually sell? (At least, how many are willingly purchased by their ostensible audience?) Who pays for these banner ads, anyway? I hope they're not asking people for money to subsidize them, because I am not sure they are getting their money's worth.

I wish I could tell you how much it costs to advertise here, but right now, no advertising is being sold.

Someone obviously paid for these ads, though, and enough to keep the ads alive even during these obviously tough times at Blogger.com where no other advertising is permitted.

Of course, then we have the Exodus website. Everyone -- young impressionable homosexuals especially -- really should check it out. Cute young guys on the home page. (They really want us to harden ourselves against this sort of thing...) Very slick; obviously a good deal of money went into the web design.

The central premise of Exodus is stated on the the website:

What is Exodus?
Exodus is a nonprofit, interdenominational Christian organization promoting the message of
"Freedom from homosexuality through the power of Jesus Christ."

Since 1976, Exodus has grown to include over 100 local ministries in the USA and Canada. We are also linked with other Exodus world regions outside of North America, totaling over 135 ministries in 17 countries.

Within both the Christian and secular communities, Exodus has challenged those who respond to homosexuals with ignorance and fear, and those who uphold homosexuality as a valid orientation. These extremes fail to convey the fullness of redemption found in Jesus Christ, a gift which is available to all who commit their life and their sexuality to Him.

I try to be fair, and in fairness to Exodus, I am glad that they at least "challenge" those who respond to homosexuals with ignorance and fear (although I hope they are not fighting ignorance with ignorance). As to "freedom from homosexuality through the power of Jesus Christ," I think there are a number of unstated hypotheses and assumptions present there. The term "freedom from" clearly implies that a thing is enslaving a person. Anyone who feels that he is not free from that which he wants to be free from -- for whatever reason -- does not seem to have free will or control over that portion of his life. I feel genuinely sorry for such people, and I guess I would have to admit that if they seek freedom (if indeed they want to define unwanted desires in such terms), no one should deprive them of it.

But to speak of "freedom from" certain sexual tastes (irregardless of whether some people deem them sinful) strikes me as a simple abuse of logic. One is only enslaved by something if one allows oneself to be controlled by that thing, and a desire to do something is not slavery unless one is driven by some uncontrollable compulsion to do that thing even though he desires not to.

If we analogize to food, no rational person may properly be said to be "enslaved" by a taste, say, for cream-filled donuts.

What if you just can't stop eating the darned things? Slavery? I do not buy into the idea that addiction (if tastes be addictions) is slavery, because no matter how dependent we might think we are on a certain thing, there is always a way to control our desires -- IF WE WANT TO. Whether we want to control or modify our tastes and desires is a purely personal decision. For someone to come along and tell me that my desire for cream-filled donuts is a form of "slavery" which can only be overcome via changing one's desire according to what they deem to be God's opinion of that taste, is patently absurd. They say that their God hates certain forms sexual taste and sexual expression. They are entitled to their opinion. But that does not transform a fondness for tastes they claim their god forbids into a form of slavery.

Logically, things are no different if we consider aversions to the tastes of others. Personally, I hate liver, and I do not eat it. I may very well be missing out on a wondrous, nutritious food, the love of which some people may consider nothing short of divine. Fine. They can opine that I should try it, and I suppose they could even offer "reparative" programs which might help me learn to eat the horrid stuff in a quasi-medical setting. But to call this "healing" is just too big of a stretch for me. Similarly, to call me a slave and say that I am not free because I don't like liver is simply an abuse of language, because that is not what freedom and slavery mean.

While I am not sure about God's view of cream-filled donuts, I have no doubt that some religious rules forbid me to eat liver, and that there are people out there who feel strongly that god does not want me to eat it. Actually, I used to live in the Haight Ashbury, where I got to know my local grocer, a Palestinian, quite well. He used to watch me buy ham and other food products taboo to his religion, and I noticed a sad, even guilty look on his face when he would ring them up on the register. One day, he told me gently that these things were not good for me, and that God really did not want me eating them. I thanked him for his concerns (he was utterly sincere and obviously did care), but paid little attention.

If God is going to damn me for eating pork or liver, then I guess I either ought to stop eating pork and liver lest I be damned, or else maybe find a different god. But no one truly knows what opinion God (no matter which god or which religions might be meant by the term) has; all they can do is cite various religious texts -- which are nothing more than writings by various people over time who claimed (or who were said to have claimed) that either they knew (or someone else told them that God had told them) his opinion. If God exists and God is good, then that means infinitely, in an infinite number of forms. I don't especially need anyone to tell me that God is a bigot who hates my tastes, and it only adds insult to injury if they tell me that such tyranny is "freedom." How Orwellian! How hopelessly Medieval!

Once again, America needs to return to Classical Values!

While I am confident that the government is not funding penis spam, I certainly hope our tax dollars aren't going into this kind of "healing" of penis use, for while it may be a form of advice to some, to others it is an unwanted form of gratuitous harassment.

But healing it definitely is not.

Besides, healing can work both ways. While I would rather there be no such arbitrary and sterile modern categories as "homosexuality" or "heterosexuality" in the first place, I have to say that I have met more people claiming to be former heterosexuals than I have people claiming to be former homosexuals.

Why is it any more fair for the latter to claim to heal the former than vice versa?

And if you want to claim the right to "heal" penis usage in the name of religion, please read my blog about Phallic Cults.

(After a mouthful like that I dare not say anything about "food for thought" or anything like that, because I don't want to be accused of having bad religious "tastes.")

posted by Eric at 04:53 PM



More On CNN's "Journalistic Content"

More On CNN's "Journalistic Content"

CNN, caught in a Big Lie, has now admitted that their assault weapons story was not true.

Will the gods be appeased this way? How about ordinary mortals?

To see what I am fussing about, please read yesterday's blog.

posted by Eric at 10:57 AM




Generating "New Journalistic Content" (How

Generating "New Journalistic Content"

(How about another Classical Value called The Truth?)

I am a relative newbie to blogging, so let me try to get this right. (And thanks again to my blogdaddy.)

Apparently, bloggers are bad because they:

- tend to be libertarians
- criticize ("leach off") mainstream journalism
- react to articles
- do not generate "new journalistic content"

I had absolutely no idea that blogs or blogging were so offensive!

According to David Carr at Samizdata, at least one aspirant to "real" journalism thinks that the people who blog are some kind of an "elite" who have too much "influence."

A chief complaint is that bloggers:

simply leech off the old-style media. The political and comment blogs that are seen as being at the forefront of the 'blogging revolution' often do little more than write about and react to articles published in traditional media outlets (or 'the Big Media' as they call it), rather than generating new journalistic content. (Emphasis supplied.)

Well, my question today, is: what do you do when the supposedly trustworthy journalists generate deliberately fake content? I am not talking about Jayson Blair in the New York Times, but CNN.

(Just keep reading, and you will no longer wonder why the right-wingnuts call it the "Commie News Network.")

Last week CNN featured one of the most dishonest stories I have ever seen. CNN Miami Bureau Chief John Zarrella featured a story (working in cahoots with Broward County's very antigun Sheriff ) purporting to "contrast" pre-ban "assault weapons" with those available for sale now. The lawman (who should have known better than to engage in such tactics) was shooting into cinderblocks with an AK-47 on FULL AUTO to demonstrate the firepower of the pre ban Kalashnikovs versus the currently available models. Guess what? The cinderblocks subjected to full-auto fire were torn apart, and the guy hardly touched them with the "newer" model! They also claimed that Kalashnikovs with 30 round magazines do more damage than those with 10! How dumb do they think we are?

Anyone familiar with firearms knows that full auto weapons have been virtually banned since 1934. They also know the type of cartridge fired by the Kalashinkov has always been the same, and one fired from a pre-ban magazine is ballistically identical to one fired from a post-ban magazine.

This story is much more than misleading; it is completely bogus.

You will not see this in the news! I couldn't even find it on any of the major news web sites.

Surprised? I am not.

Watch it for yourself here.

(Be sure to click on the archive dated May 16 to watch the original CNN story.)

Or, if you have one of those Real Audio Players, here's the URL which you can copy right into the "Location" area of your Player:

rtsp://rnd31sea.activate.net/am/content/video/hi/20030516-034639r112.rm

Where is the accountability? Big media elitists call bloggers unaccountable, and even elitist.

As a new blogger, I expect to be ignored by all but a few friends and a couple of bloggers. But at least that is something; it makes this worth doing. Will the mainstream journalists begrudge me even that?

They are right about one thing: I am reacting. I started Classical Values as a reaction against those who would put me in prison for my various lifestyle choices. But let's look at the concept of putting people into prison. In order to successfully do that, you have to have power. Guns. Handcuffs, chains, armed force. Courts. Lawyers. Legislatures.

Isn't that elite? If I (or other blogs) complain about things like that, logically speaking, how can the complaining process (reacting if you will) be called "elite?" Sheesh! Next they'll be calling the Federalist Papers an early elitist "blog!"

And why is it that established journalists are complaining that bloggers are members of an elite? What could be more elite that the grand, exalted, Woodward and Bernstein? The Washington Post? The New York Times?

If reacting to or criticizing such an elite is "elitist," then we have reached a new phase of Orwellian newspeak.

The ancients were heavily influenced by a very stubborn and inescapable thing called The Truth. They even had a god for it (I guess I should call her a godess). She was the daughter of Saturn, and her name was Veritas.

Would it be elitist for me to complain that CNN has offended the Pagan gods?

As I said before, I am not here to represent every religion and philosophy known to man, but I think it's fair to say that on this issue, ancient religions, modern religions, and even good old honest atheists are all in accord!

posted by Eric at 03:22 PM




SPAM -- The Best Defense

SPAM -- The Best Defense is a good offense!

Is nothing sacred?

Modern penis spam -- particularly advertisements on growing large penises -- is not funny.

Really! I am now getting about ten a day -- and those are the ones which somehow slip through my increasingly impotent "spam filter." Am I the only victim of such sexual harassment?

The shrill and incessant demands that I feel guilty and enlarge my penis, make it bigger, make it longer, make it wider, make it erect with Viagra, etc. are intended to make me feel ever more guilty and ever more inferior. It adds insult to injury, because, well, the penis I have is generally underutilized. I do not need a new and improved version of what I don't sufficiently use.

I wouldn't be complaining except that the sheer number of these ads has gotten ridiculous.

Just now, I searched the trash folder to prove my point. In order to do that, I opened Netscape Tool's "Search Messages" application. Hmmmm. "Search Subfolders>Match Any of the Following." OK, what do I enter?

Body > Contains > Penis

Do you think I'm making this up? I couldn't make it up if I tried. Anyway, that brought up at least 30 of the most recent bombastic buggers of bloggery (should that be bloggers of buggery? No; those are the good guys.).

Here are the first three subject headers:


     Doctors Approved You will gain at least 3+ inches in your penis in weeks!

     Men: Ask her if size matters

     Size DOES matter! Enlarge your penis now!

     Just today, "Hung Mansfield" sent me an email telling me its "hard to get chicks      being hung like a squirrel."

     (Here's Hung's useless link)

I know how boring this is to most people, to the point where it probably as annoying to read this as it is to get these damned emails. But what if you're one of those guys who has an adequate sized penis but who doesn't even get to use it? What the hell would you do with a bigger one? It's not a bigger penis that's at issue for most of us; it's a place to put the damned thing!

I mean, suppose for a second that these ads are even true (which they're not) and that you could grow a gigantic new penis in a matter of weeks. What would that get you?

I don't think this is an issue of heterosexuality or homosexuality. Let us assume the ads are correct and that women care about penis size. That would make them like many gay men. So what? How does that get anyone laid? Unless you are only having sex in bathhouses or public restrooms, most of the time, the size of your penis is not known or discovered until it is actually time to use it. At that point, I admit, if you are microphallic (which few men are), there might be a problem. But in reality, most of the time, by the time two people decide that its time to get into activities involving sexual penetration, no one is using a ruler.

Is the problem, as modern feminists complain, that we are too much of a phallocentric culture?

I think not.

I think the problem is that the wrong phalluses are in charge.

Once again, I suggest we look to the old days for wisdom. Some of that old time religion, perhaps? Maybe….

How about,

Old Time Phallic Cults?

In ancient times, phallic cults existed (devoted to penis worship) where one could go to participate in a variety of religious rites to restore, stimulate, or enlarge the penis. The origin of Comedy has been traced to these phallic cults. (No wonder Aristotle's Comedy "disappeared" -- and no wonder religious zealots are not noted for their sense of humor!)

But let's get serious now.

Quite frankly, I wrote the above yesterday -- before I saw today's Sunday paper. I thought that complaining about spam was in a blog was an incredibly dumb idea, but then -- lo and behold! -- today's Philadelphia Inquirer had a front page article STEALING this very idea! The author even complained about "strangers" questioning his "manhood."

Once again, is nothing sacred in the American media? One week sodomy laws, the next, penis spam? Might it not be healthier to consider finding rational common ground between religion and penises once again?

It took Freud to wake Americans up to what was well-known to the ancients. Suddenly, people realized that phallic symbols were everywhere. Not a new idea; only a rediscovery of classical values. They may have even inspired early Christianity:

     The Eucharist hosts were signed with a cross, an
     ancient phallic symbol which originated in Egypt, and
     the Egyptian cross (the ankh) still shows the original
     form which included the female symbol. The holy day
     was the day of the sun, Sunday, in contrast to the
     holy day of Jews.

     (for more).


Before any of you get any mean-spirited and vicious ideas, please remember! I am not discussing Phallic Cults in order to humiliate, degrade, disrespect or even annoy anyone except the spammers! I do not believe in dissing the religion of others -- and that includes Christianity, which has been turned, tragically, into a dirty word (another subject). I am all for religious tolerance.

(But shouldn't that include tolerance for the Phallic Cults too?)

posted by Eric at 11:44 AM




It isn't Liberal to Imprison People for Lifestyle Choices...

....So Maybe it's Conservative!


What has most upset me about this whole Santorum thing is not so much the reminder that moral conservatives disapprove of homosexuality, but that so many of them would indeed like to put homosexuals in prison.

Fortunately, the comparatively short (and still unfolding) history of modern freedom evinces a trend away from locking people up because others do not approve of their lifestyles. Few reasonable people have any quarrel with society protecting itself against force or fraud, i.e. against bad guys. A bad person is someone who will hurt you, take advantage of you, do something to you against your will, take advantage of a child, or (and here we go) take away your freedom. To the extent that moral conservatives (or social conservatives, or fundamentalist bigots, or whatever you might call them) want to do the latter, I would consider them bad people. (There! I guess the above means that because I do believe in good and evil, that I am not what I am sure the fundamentalists would call me: a "moral relativist.")

As a libertarian I oppose all drug laws for exactly the same reason. The state (which is composed of men -- and "men" is a collective word for all human beings in the classical sense) has no right to put people in prison because they have engaged in an activity deemed harmful to themselves. Those who would imprison them are, once again, bad people. In a strict moral sense, I consider them even worse than those who would lock up homosexuals, because (applying their own argument that drug use harms the individual user) by locking him up they are engaged in the genuinely evil activity of inflicting further harm on a person for having harmed himself. Might as well jail fat people for overeating. Or people who by recklessness turned themselves into paraplegics.

Bottom line: no matter how offensive or immoral a lifestyle may seem, if he has not harmed others and you jail him for it, you become far more immoral than he.

In the year 1982, I found myself subjected to verbal and physical abuse because of my lifestyle choice, and I am posting this account of it to this blog thanks to the very kind urging of a really inspiring blogger.

Place: San Francisco, city of tolerance, liberalism, an "anything goes" atmosphere, in the era before such things as AIDS, mass deaths (over 20 friends so far -- each one taking part of me along with him), the Internet, blogs, or so many of the things we take for granted.

One of "The City's" big annual events was the Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Etc. Parade. I attended my first one in June 1973, and watched them get bigger and bigger until, sadly, political correctness and government sponsorship crept in, killing much of the original spontaneity and innocence. By 1982, all floats had to be approved in advance, although once the parade was underway people were free to join any float they wanted.

There had been a great deal of antigay violence that year, and all sorts of ideas were floating around about how to deal with it, including the use of whistles, the funding of a 24 hour a day reporting line, hiring more gay police officers, and (gasp) even courses in self defense.

Self defense. Now, there's something I believed in. And I owned my share of firearms. I even subscribed to the heresy that the Second Amendment is a good thing. (Still do, which is why I am a Lifetime Member of the NRA and urge every reader to become the same.) So I, along with a group of similar-minded citizens, petitioned the parade committee to let us enter a "GAY GUNS" float in the parade. We wanted to march with unloaded firearms, as was our right legally.

What should have been a simple and dignified exercise of free speech turned into an unforgettable nightmare. The parade committee refused to let us march with unloaded firearms (so we substituted a large wooden gun attached to a pickup), and we ended up being forced to march in a solitary position towards the end of the parade, surrounded by suspicious and unfriendly parade monitors. These "monitors" did nothing to defend or help us; their sole purpose seemed to be to stop sympathetic spectators from joining us -- unlike the case with the other floats. I will never forget the angry faces, shrieks at every turn, boos, jeers, and invective. I was called a "traitor," "the enemy!", spat upon I don't know how many times, had beer thrown on me (along with at least one bottle; a couple of times I had to dive for cover into the bed of the pickup). Several members of our original group were so frightened that they deserted the pathetic, struggling float. Every time some supporter in the crowd would try to cheer, he would himself be booed, and drowned out.

Well, I was not hurt, but I had trouble sleeping that night. Every time I closed my eyes I saw these angry faces of seething hatred -- at least as mean and evil looking as any of the Southern bigots shown in films from the Freedom Riders era in the 1960s. The boos, jeers and invective reverberated for days, and sometimes I still hear them.

I have yet to experience anything resembling this kind of treatment from the right wing, and on a number of occasions I have deliberately put myself in the position of inviting it.

Perhaps some readers will be arguing that incivility and meanness is one thing, but at least those angry San Francisco gay leftists would not put people in prison for their lifestyle choices.

Really, you say? They wouldn't?

Ever heard of a thing called GUN CONTROL???

That's this deal where if you believe in the right of armed self-defense and deem it prudent to get a gun, the angry gun-hating people will put you in jail for it! Believe me, I remember the faces of that mob; some of them had pure murder in their eyes, and the idea of merely putting us in jail would probably have struck them as an act of permissiveness.

And if you don't think owning a gun for self defense (or any other reason) is a permissible lifestyle choice, I suggest rereading the Constitution.

As I said in an earlier blog, dick control is wrong, and so is gun control. Nobody locks me up for what I do with my own body or my own life. I have a right to use my body as I see fit, and I also have a right to defend it!

If this makes me a liberal, I guess I am a liberal. If that makes me a conservative, I guess I'm a conservative. Which side gets to call names?

posted by Eric at 07:14 PM | Comments (1)



Ayatollah You So! Things are

Ayatollah You So!

Things are getting pretty bad when mere dialogue about a major contemporary issue has become impossible.

I refer to the news about "leading" (there's that word) social conservatives threatening to bolt from the Republican Party or from George Bush not for any position he has either taken or threatened to take, but for the fact that a Republican leader dared even to "meet" with a homosexual lobbying group.

This is the United States of America, and not Iran, I keep reminding myself. In this country, no matter how much you might disagree with another person's position, simple fairness, common courtesy, and the First Amendment at least provide a way to hear what the other side thinks, and maybe enter into a debate.

It is elementary that where there is no dialogue, debate becomes impossible.

Hmmmmm.

Might it be that the people who want to be the moral leaders of the Republican Party do not want even to debate the issue of homosexuality? Is that their demand? That the Republican Party and George Bush may not meet, confer, talk with, or listen to, ANY homosexuals?

Does that mean that henceforth, only heterosexuals are to be heard on the subject of homosexuality? Or do even the heterosexuals have to agree with the moral conservatives lest they too be silenced?

I remember that the Ayatollah Khomeini used to refuse to debate certain things. People who disagreed with him were marched off.

The way some of these fundamentalists act, you'd almost think they want to lock certain people up!

posted by Eric at 06:28 PM




Just Say Yes! to Biblically ACCURATE laws against sodomy....

(My thanks to Glenn Reynolds for waking me up to what strike me as logical problems in some of the arguments in favor of sodomy laws. I have neglected this blog site for too long, and now I feel guilty...)

I guess I'm now a year or so late on sodomy postings, but now that the likes of Libya, Iran, and Saudi Arabia have helped out the American sodomy law lobby by weighing in at the UN, the least I could do is post a blog site comment.

Clayton Cramer (link at instapundit.com) seems to forget that the original
sodomy laws from which ours derive were not passed to stop AIDS; they date back to the reign of Justinian and his wife Theodora, who used them during the twilight of the Roman Empire to persecute their political enemies. Far
from combating AIDS or any other diseases, these laws served mainly to hearken the advent of the Dark Ages.

Cramer, who is against gun control, but for dick control, should rethink his position. People who do not like guns or gun owners want to legislate against responsible gun owners for the excesses committed by the irresponsible
ones. AIDS is not caused by “sodomy” or by “sodomites” in the general sense,
and it makes no sense to punish everyone for the excesses of some.

For that matter, from where derives the idea that if sodomy is a bad thing, we must punish it by locking sodomites up in an all male environment?

By the way, the word “sodomy” is itself overinclusive, for the conduct at Sodom involved (taking the Bible literally as we must) an angry mob threatening
to break down Lot’s door and gang-rape God’s angels (the latter presumably
men). Those of us who are not into gang-raping angels are thus unfairly lumped with a small, malevolent minority.

Contrary to the implications of Santorum’s argument, I do not advocate opening the door to angel rape, and I would support 100% a “Biblical Sodom” sodomy statute were it to criminalize only forcible same-sex intercourse between man and angel.

posted by Eric at 04:17 PM




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