August 31, 2004
Yet there's no media bias.
CNN is pulling their oar on the Kerry rowboat with such incredible enthusiasm, they don't even notice that the boat's sinking. And it's taking them with it as it goes down.
In this vein, please, please read Professor Reynold's latest Tech Central Station column, if you are at all interested in the impact of blogging and the new media. i think he hits the nail right on the head.
The rise of the blogosphere is revealing the old media as an emperor with no clothes, which must get its act together or be crushed. Professional journalists are lazy, uneducated hacks, as i've said so many times before. When they have to compete with superb "amateurs" like Reynolds, Volokh, Hinderaker et al., Hewitt, Ed Morrissey, Wretchard, etc.* they can only lose.
Professional journalists simply can't match the top bloggers' ability to research and articulate the news at the speed of light. In the world of the new media, amateurs produce like professionals and the professionals are exposed as amateurs.
Reynolds quotes Hinderaker:
A bunch of amateurs, no matter how smart and enthusiastic, could never outperform professional neurosurgeons, because they lack the specialized training and experience necessary for that field. But what qualifications, exactly, does it take to be a journalist? What can they do that we can't? Nothing. Generally speaking, they don't know any more about primary data and raw sources of information than we do-- often less. Their general knowledge is often inadequate. Their superior resources should allow them to carry out investigations far beyond what we amateurs can do. But the reality is that the mainstream media rarely use those resources. Too many journalists are bored, biased and lazy.Hack reporters are helpless to fix their own deficiencies, they don't have the brainpower or common sense, nor do they seem to care. They will have to adapt to the new media or wither away, and i'm actually not sure which eventuality i prefer more.
Who would you trust more to give you the right answer? Four million randomly chosen people, or your buddies in the newsroom who were all chosen because the boss likes the way they think? The blogosphere has the characteristics of wise crowds, as set down by James Surowiecki:Link via Instapundit.
Even if the mainstream media werent ingrown and biased, you would find that the blogs win always.
- Divesity of opinion each person should have some private information, even if its just an eccentric interpretation of the facts.
- Independence peoples opinions are not determined by the opinions of those around them.
- Decentralization people are able to specialize and draw on local knowledge.
- Aggregation some mechanism exists for turning private judgments into collective decision.
* Yes, in spite of his few successes, i most intentionally omitted Andruw Sullivan, who is an intellectually dishonest, self-promoting shill.
August 30, 2004
To that i say: "yesssssss!"
Politics is not a knitting club.
The Democrats are upset because a few delegates are wearing band-aids to mock Kerry's purple heart wounds. They want the RNC to crack down on this "inexcusable" behavior.
Until then, why not enjoy a nice cup of STFU, MacAuliffe.*
After Giuliani's rousing, albeit long-ass speech, Mara Liason* commented on the Michael More* moment in John McCain's equally good speech. She didn't like it. She said it was "a gift" to More and out of character for McCain.
i thought it was great, and i bet a lot of people agree with me.
So Mara, how about a nice cup of STFU for you, too.
Giuliani's speech was as if someone had translated Charles Krauthammer's address to the American Enterprise Institute into language that could resonate with the common man. And i was glad he did. It was the meat of his speech and he articulated the pro-war argument better than i've heard anyone in the administration explain it. Too bad the networks didn't cover it.
Terrorism did not start on September 11, 2001. It had been festering for many years.i liked that section. We need to be reminded of the contrast between the weak approach and the strong approach to the problem of terrorism. And i think, when given the choice, most people will opt for the strong approach, like Rudy.
And the world had created a response to it that allowed it to succeed. The attack on the Israeli team at the Munich Olympics was in 1972. And the pattern had already begun.
The three surviving terrorists were arrested and within two months released by the German government.
Action like this became the rule, not the exception. Terrorists came to learn they could attack and often not face consequences.
In 1985, terrorists attacked the Achille Lauro and murdered an American citizen who was in a wheelchair, Leon Klinghoffer.
They marked him for murder solely because he was Jewish.
Some of those terrorists were released and some of the remaining terrorists allowed to escape by the Italian government because of fear of reprisals.
So terrorists learned they could intimidate the world community and too often the response, particularly in Europe, was 'accommodation, appeasement and compromise.'
And worse the terrorists also learned that their cause would be taken more seriously, almost in direct proportion to the barbarity of the attack.
Terrorist acts became a ticket to the international bargaining table.
How else to explain Yasser Arafat winning the Nobel Peace Prize when he was supporting a terrorist plague in the Middle East that undermined any chance of peace?
Before September 11, we were living with an unrealistic view of the world much like our observing Europe appease Hitler or trying to accommodate ourselves to peaceful coexistence with the Soviet Union through mutually assured destruction.
President Bush decided that we could no longer be just on defense against global terrorism but we must also be on offense.
i think it was a good night for us Republicans.
* Nota bene for those new visitors out there: intentionally misspelled.
August 29, 2004
There's so much anger and unfocused rage, it's funny. Whenever the C-Span dude asks anyone to explain themself, they invariably have nothing to say. It's like "err . . . agenda . . . um . . . Ashcroft . . . err . . . I just want Bush out . . . err . . ."
To be fair, there's a lot of normal touristy looking types in the crowd, but 80% or 90% of the signs and t-shirts contain some type of obscenity or insult, which negates any normalcy that a t-shirt and shorts might convey.
No suits and ties, though. The idiot who suggested that idea at DU must never have been to NYC in August.
And what's with all the drummers?
One guy was in complete hysterics, shouting at a group of Bush supporters: "YOU ARE THE THREAT TO THIS COUNTRY, NOT AL-QAEDA, YOU ARE THE AL-QAEDA!"
Oh yeah, that's the way to convert any swing voters watching on TV to your side. They're the people sitting at home, in Springfield or Dubuque or Orlando, shaking their heads and thinking: "That's not me . . . I don't want any part of that."
Keep it up freaks. Keep it up! Like i said, i am lovin' it.
August 27, 2004
Tomorrow, i may hear from Mr. Puke.
August 25, 2004
Yes, strictly speaking, a lesbian is what you call someone from Lesbos. So how did that word become transformed into a gay moniker? And what does that have to do with poetry day? Read on:
The most famous lesbian of all was the classical Greek poetess Sappho, who lived in the seventh century B.C. She ran a school for girls on Lesbos that was sort of the artistic hippie commune of its day. She was such a revered poet that people called her "the tenth muse."
Sappho wrote a series of beautiful lyric poetry that survives only in fragments. It was written on stone tablets, which broke over the years and many of the pieces are missing. The only thing left of much of Sappho's work is a line here and a line there, leaving only glimpses of some romantic and evocative poetry, now lost forever.
Some of Sappho's poem fragments have been interpreted as evidence that she was indeed a lesbian, in both senses of the word. Thus the modern meaning of "lesbian." Although there is still some dispute about whether Sappho really liked girls or whether it was more of a sisterly thing she was writing about.
Sappho's poems have consistently resisted translation into English in a way that reveals their beauty to the non-Greek speaker. Or so i'm told. i took Latin, not Greek in high school, so i'll just have to take the poetry scholars' word for it.
Mary Barnard's recent translation is very nice, although i'm not sure how faithful it is to the original. Today's poem is an especially pretty translation by Barnard, which seems to be from a more intact fragment.
Yes, Atthis, you may be sure
Even in Sardis
Anactoria will think often of us
of the life we shared here,
when you seemed
the Goddess incarnate
to her and your singing
pleased her best
Now among Lydian women she in her
turn stands first as the red-
fingered moon rising at sunset takes
precedence over stars around her;
her light spreads equally
on the salt sea and fields thick with bloom
Delicious dew pours down to freshen
roses, delicate thyme,
and blossoming sweet clover; she wanders
aimlessly, thinking of gentle
Atthis, her heart hanging
heavy with longing in her little breast
She shouts aloud, Come! we know it;
thousand-eared night repeats that cry
across the sea shining between us
i think it's appropriate that this week's poem is a selection from Sappho, in honor of the Olympic Games in general and a couple of American gold medalists in particular who, perhaps unintentionally, paid homage to the spirit of Sappho the other night.
August 22, 2004
During my extended blog hiatus, it may seem like i'm gone, but i wont be, really. There may even be some mysterious annika sightings now and then.
August 18, 2004
The City Limits
When you consider the radiance, that it does not withhold
itself but pours its abundance without selection into every
nook and cranny not overhung or hidden; when you consider
that birds' bones make no awful noise against the light but
lie low in the light as in a high testimony; when you consider
the radiance, that it will look into the guiltiest
swervings of the weaving heart and bear itself upon them,
not flinching into disguise or darkening; when you consider
the abundance of such resource as illuminates the glow-blue
bodies and gold-skeined wings of flies swarming the dumped
guts of a natural slaughter or the coil of shit and in no
way winces from its storms of generosity; when you consider
that air or vacuum, snow or shale, squid or wolf, rose or lichen,
each is accepted into as much light as it will take, then
the heart moves roomier, the man stands and looks about, the
leaf does not increase itself above the grass, and the dark
work of the deepest cells is of a tune with May bushes
and fear lit by the breadth of such calmly turns to praise.
i had to read this one a bunch of times before i "got" it. Until i did, the beauty of the rhythm and alliteration kept me going back. Notice the scientific metaphors. Ammons had a chemistry degree from Wake Forest and his interest in science is obvious in this poem. He also studied English Literature at Cal Berkeley as a grad student, although i do not think he earned a degree.
This poem's message is definitely spiritual and contemplative. Whether it's also a religious metaphor is up to the reader. For me it is, but i can just as easily see how it wouldn't be for some.
Here's a short bio of the poet, who died in February, 2001.
August 17, 2004
My plan is to post weekly if at all possible, in the style of Anne...straight from the hip (quantity-wise, of course. i could never hope to match her quality-wise).
i'll still try to check in on my regular blog reading, because it's a pleasure i just can't give up that easily.
Besides, i need to taunt Rocket Jones mercilessly some more.
August 16, 2004
What a rightwing blog says about protests of Republican ConventionThat's a freakin' joke. You usually gotta have a job to own a suit and tie, and none of those people have jobs. If they did, they sure as hell wouldn't have time to be protesting. Plus, asking these professional protesters not to block traffic is like asking shit not to stink. Their whole purpose for existence is to make themselves noticed in the most obnoxious way.
'We can expect a big freak show at the upcoming Republican Convention in New York. The far left nut jobs will ensure Bush's re-election, even though they will think they're doing the opposite. In fact, i hope they go on a total Bush-hatin' rampage in the streets of New York. Everyone knows who's side they're on, and the worse the protesters act, the more people will realize how low the Democratic Party has fallen.'
-The rightwing blog, Annika's Journal, July 26, 2004
If you go, please wear business clothing (suit and tie for a man)
and please don't block traffic.
I'm expecting the police to taser and club peaceful protestors, and I hope things stay calm.
To paraphrase David Crosby: Let your freak flag fly baby!
August 15, 2004
expletivedeleted: hi sexypause.
expletivedeleted: how's you
expletivedeleted: so you live in LA ?
annikagyrl: no, sacramento
expletivedeleted: ah, moved since updating your profile then
expletivedeleted: so how's sac town
annikagyrl: fixing it now
expletivedeleted: how so
expletivedeleted: oh, nevermind
expletivedeleted: what do you do for kicks up there?
annikagyrl: not much
annikagyrl: its pretty boring
expletivedeleted: so i hear
expletivedeleted: i have friends up there
annikagyrl: where do you live
expletivedeleted: san diego
expletivedeleted: i'm martin
expletivedeleted: and i am assuming that you are annika
annikagyrl: are you the martin from san diego?
expletivedeleted: well, i am one of probably many
annikagyrl: i know you
expletivedeleted: how do you know me
expletivedeleted: you teach kindergarten?
annikagyrl: no we went to kindergarten toghethe
expletivedeleted: really now?
annikagyrl: i cant believe you dont remember me
expletivedeleted: have we spoke online before and you were under a different name?
annikagyrl: no you sat in front of me
annikagyrl: in front of you
expletivedeleted: so what was our teacher's name?
annikagyrl: oh god, i don't remember
annikagyrl: started with an l
expletivedeleted: no it was a B
annikagyrl: b started with a b
annikagyrl: baum somehting or other
expletivedeleted: it was Brown
annikagyrl: brown yah thats it
annikagyrl: remember i used to shoot spit wads at you
expletivedeleted: you didnt go to kindergarten with me
annikagyrl: no im just fuckin with ya dude
expletivedeleted: of course you are
annikagyrl: i do that to everybody
annikagyrl: some people believe it tho
expletivedeleted: not me
annikagyrl: yes, that is why i do not like you
expletivedeleted: why's that
annikagyrl: i dont know
annikagyrl: say something funnylong pause
annikagyrl: lolanother pause
expletivedeleted: fear the lords who are secret among us
expletivedeleted: the lords are w/ in us
annikagyrl: that is funny
expletivedeleted: born of sloth and cowardice
annikagyrl: i cant believe how funny you are
expletivedeleted: see, perhaps i am good for something
annikagyrl: what is that, the bible, or jrr tolkien?
expletivedeleted: nah, just a thought
annikagyrl: thets fuckin hilarious dude
expletivedeleted: your name is annika then?But alas, i was gone. i don't think he'll be IMing me again, what do you think?
expletivedeleted: and have you always lived in california?
expletivedeleted: married? children?
expletivedeleted: well, so what are your interests
expletivedeleted: you there?
A handful of Kerry's 'band of brothers' are traveling around with his campaign. Most of the rest, including a majority of his fellow swift boat commanders and 254 swiftees from Kerry's Coastal Squadron One, are opposed to his candidacy. That is an amazing ratio and, if snot-nosed American media grandees don't think there's a story there, maybe they ought to consider another line of work. To put it in terms they can understand, imagine if Dick Cheney campaigned for the presidency on the basis of his time at Halliburton, and a majority of the Halliburton board and 80 percent of the stockholders declared he was unfit for office. More to the point, on the swift vets' first major allegation -- Christmas in Cambodia -- the Kerry campaign has caved.i love that Halliburton analogy. And this too:
Thirty-five years on, having no appealing campaign themes, the senator decides to run for president on his biography. But for the last 20 years he's been a legislative non-entity. Before that, he was accusing his brave band of brothers of mutilation, rape and torture. He spent his early life at Swiss finishing school and his later life living off his wife's inheritance from her first husband. So, biography-wise, that leaves four months in Vietnam, which he talks about non-stop. That 1986 Senate speech is typical: It was supposed to be about Reagan policy in Central America, but like so many Kerry speeches and interviews somehow it winds up with yet another self-aggrandizing trip down memory lane.Kerry's four brilliant months, so carefully crafted by him over the course of thirty-five years, are now disintegrating into his own "four more [months] of hell."
Re: Kerry as a "legislative non-entity," allow me to recycle an old post of mine, about Clinton's regard for that great senator from Massachussetts, John Kerry. Bill didn't have much to say, in fact.
Link via Mark at The Scrolldown.
August 13, 2004
. . . i despise Katie Kouric. i really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really despise her . . .
. . . i just turned the thing on. What's up with the glowing pregnant chick? That shit is straight up weirding me out . . .
. . . Kouric's tone of voice is soooo condescending. She talks down to the viewing audience like we're a bunch of fucking babies. God she's annoying. She almost makes me not mind the short guy. What's his name? . . .
. . . Costas . . .
. . . Interesting that Bulgaria sent an all male contingent of athletes this year . . .
. . . i'm sure the German team didn't mind following the French team in the parade of nations. Germans are very used to seeing the backs of Frenchmen . . .
. . . Cool, no boos for the Americans. But what's up with that music? Is that a techno version of Albinoni's Adagio? Couldn't they have picked a happier tune for the parade? . . .
. . . i've heard from Europeans that we Americans walk differently and we're easy to pick out from a crowd because of the way we carry ourselves. It doesn't matter what we wear, either. i can't put my finger on the difference, but i see it when i look at our team. It's almost like an optimism, if it's possible to exude optimism while walking . . .
. . . Best looking guys so far have been on the Bosnia-Herzegovinian and Irish teams . . .
. . . Italy too . . .
. . . i bet that blue haired Cameroonian chick was pissed when she saw the blue haired Italian chick steal her idea . . .
. . . Del Harris?! What the fuck are you doing on the Chinese team? He's the Manchurian coach! i hope no one shows him the queen of diamonds. Damn traitor . . .
. . . Time for another beer . . .
. . . The Iraqi team got a nice reception too. That's very cool . . .
. . . The Cook Island team wins the gold for having the most fun during the parade of nations. i wanna party with those guys . . .
. . . More blue hair. This time on a Mexican chick . . .
. . . That guy carrying the flag of Mauritania looks like the black dude from Gladiator . . .
. . . The Brits are all dressed like they just came from the Village. (not Shyamalan's village . . . McGoohan's) . . .
. . . The Olympic Stadium really was worth waiting for. It is spectacularly beautiful . . .
. . . But is there anything more boring than an Olympic opening ceremony? Maybe an Olympic closing ceremony . . .
. . . Still, it is amazing when you think that the Olympics were invented in that exact place, three thousand years ago . . .
. . . AθHNA . . .
. . . Now here come the runners, passing off what appears to be the largest fattie spliff ever rolled . . .
. . . Holy shit. At first i thought the dude was using that fattie to chain light the world's most gigantic joint. But then, as the torch slowly began to rise, it's true symbolism became obvious. Those perv Greeks built a huge working replica of an erect phallus! . . .
. . . i think i'm blushing . . .
i've added a new button to my sidebar. Please check it out; i think it's a great idea.
Books For Soldiers is a soldier support site that ships books, DVDs and supplies to deployed soliders and soldiers in VA hospitals, via our large volunteer network.Thanks to the other Annika, on whose site i discovered this.
If you have old, but usuable paperback books sitting around, collecting dust, why not send them to a solider [sailor, airman or marine] for a big morale boost?
In the recent Colorado Senate primary, the pre-election buzz was that the GOP candidates, Pete Coors and Bob Schaffer, were in a statistical dead heat. In fact, AP repeated this assumption on the day of the election.
Twenty-two percentage points is a pretty decent margin of victory, and while the press avoided calling it a landslide (the Democratic candidate won his primary with 73% of the vote) i would not hesitate to call it just that.
How did the pre-election polls get it so wrong? Were the pollsters biased? Maybe not, the primary was between two Republicans, after all. Were the polling methods faulty? i don't know the details of that particular Colorado poll, but in my opinion, most polls are screwy and inaccurate by nature.
The only polls i put any stock in are Zogby's exit polls, because they've been shown to be the most accurate after the last two presidential elections.
Another problem with poll accuracy is that people who do vote are increasingly less likely to pick up the phone, thanks to telemarketing abuse. i don't think this problem necessarily favors one party over the other, but it does make the raw data suspect. And that requires the pollster to make assumptions about who is being underestimated when the pollster adjusts the numbers for "accuracy."
The point i want to make is this: i think there's a lot more support for the GOP, and specifically for Bush-Cheney, than the pollsters and the media are willing to recognize or admit. Most of the presidential polling is deliberately skewed in favor of the Democrats, in my opinion. (Dick Morris explains how the media accomplish and justify thier biased polling in his book, Off With Their Heads.) i'm not saying the pollsters are lying. i just think they overestimate the amount of Democratic support when they adjust the raw data.
The Coors election shows how wrong the polls can be. The lesson i'm hoping to extrapolate from Colorado is that in this post 9/11 era, polling and voting are two vastly different things. i think people are a lot more serious about their vote when they actually get in the booth. They may support any number of candidates during pre-election polls, but when it's time to pull the lever, i think there's a newfound tendency to lean towards the conservative side.
i'll be very interested to see if my theory holds true in November.
Among the ways to know when a rat's hooked: It keeps trying to get cocaine even when each hit comes with an electric shock.Or a date before the judge.
Intriguingly, 17 percent of the rats met all three measures and thus were considered addicted while roughly 15 percent of human cocaine users become addicts . . .Unless you count musicians and child actors . . .
August 12, 2004
No, i'm not talking about his sexual preference. In fact, i'm sure they're overjoyed that McGreevey has come out of the closet.
But why won't they tell us that he's a Democrat?
Not that there's anything wrong with that . . .
August 11, 2004
i may sometimes deride soccer fan, but it's an uncomfortable truth that your average hooligan has a lot in common with your stereotypical Raider fan.
Read the following poem, by a poet named simply, Glenn. Tell me if it doesn't remind you of any beloved black hole dwellers you know.
Sunday, Bloody Sunday
He wakes up to the siren of the clock beside his bed,
He rubs his eyes and starts to feel the banging in his head,
It's 8 o'clock on Sunday morn, he's only had five hours,
But he mustn't let his mates down so he summons up his powers.
He drinks a litre of diet coke to ease the dehydration,
Then sets off down to meet his mates at the petrol station,
His lift turns up and they all pile in, squashed and jammed up tight,
The car is filled with smells of beer and curry from last night.
He shouts and swears with all his mates as they change in a cold, damp room,
The boisterousness holds no bounds, it's Sunday in the tomb,
He strides out through the mist that hugs the rutted council pitch,
Up to the centre circle, hand down shorts, attending to the itch.
He tentatively shakes the hand of his foe in black and red,
Then shouts 'tails' as the tarnished coin spins above his head,
He runs, he kicks, he hurts, he spits, his vitriol unchecked,
He courts displeasure of the man, who is in black bedecked.
He leaves the battered field of play, threatening retribution,
Knowing, deep down inside, his worthless contribution,
And afterwards in the bar he's pompous, rude and haughty,
'Cos this is Sunday football and tomorrow he is forty.
He knows his days of mud and blood are nearly at an end,
The paunch that sits upon his belt is now his new best friend,
He'll fill him up with pie and ale until he's fit to burst,
But he will go on drinking to satisfy his thirst.
He staggers off the bus and somehow opens the front door,
He slumps down in the armchair and sleeps three hours or more,
He wakes up to the siren of the ambulance outside
Then cries as he realises, that Sunday football had just died.
That's right, it was the Cal Bears!
Some other rankings are:
- ESPN/USAToday coaches poll: 15th
- Blue Ribbon Yearbook: 11th
- Athlon Sports: 14th
- Phil Steele's College Football Preview: 10th
- Lindy's: 17th
- Congrove Computer Rankings: 18th
- Pac-10 Media poll: 2nd (in conference)
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