Desert Cat's Paradise
"The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it." - Proverbs 27:12.
Tuesday, December 30, 2003
Real Progress or Red-Herring?Comments
DEBKAfile - Qaddafi Buckles after Eying Saddam in His Spider Hole
Somehow this still smells fishy to me. I don't really believe that this nutcase is coming fully clean. The true test will be this: If Muammar Qaddafi is really coming clean on his pursuit of WMD's, he will have to be attacked by Islamic militants within the next two years for it to be credible.
Why? Because militant Islamists cannot tolerate any dissent in the ranks. A formerly militant anti-Western leader of a Muslim country turning friendly to the west, simply will not be accepted without retaliation. As an example, General Musharraf of Pakistan has faced down two assasination attempts in the last two weeks for his cooperation with the United States in the war on terror.
If Libya does not become a target of attacks by radical Islam, then you can count on the fact that this latest round with UN Inspector Clouseaus chasing down elusive WMD's is a sham and a red-herring, designed to conceal something more easily hidden.
I'm sure Qaddafi did learn something from the fate of Saddam Hussein. Unfortunately what he learned is that it is possible to hide WMD programs from UN inspectors, by miniaturizing your operations, shifting them around, and spiriting the incriminating evidence out of the country before the big boys come to play.
I'm sure he doesn't want to end up like Saddam. But let's not be too glib. Had Saddam fully complied with the UN demands, he would still be in power today. Once the heat was off, the evidence shows that it would have been a simple matter for him to reconstitute his WMD programs in short order. What Qaddafi's move actually means may not be what we want to believe it means. It would be a simple matter to bury a couple of cargo containers in the vast Libyan desert, to be unearthed sometime later when the world stopped paying attention.
posted by Desert Cat @ 1:28 PM | permalink
Monday, December 29, 2003
Iranians demonstrate for America and Israel, against Islamic theocracyComments
Student Movement Coordination Committee for Democracy in Iran
I'm not surprised I have heard little of this in the US media. Once again it is the blogosphere that provides the links to unfiltered information.
posted by Desert Cat @ 9:33 PM | permalink
Another candidate for the position of 'The Antichrist' has met his end.Comments
So much for that one...
Carl E. Olson on End Times on National Review Online
"It wasn't too long ago that Saddam Hussein was considered by some Bible-prophecy students to possibly be the final "man of sin" and global dictator. As late as March of this year, fundamentalist pastor and "end-times" buff Irvin Baxter insisted that Saddam Hussein was Abaddon, or Apollyon, the "Destroyer" spoken of in Revelation 9:11. "Iraq fits like hand in glove," he claimed, predicting that Saddam's country would soon become the vortex of supernatural evil. Various prophecy-oriented websites explained in elaborate detail how the Butcher of Baghdad might rise from the ruin of the first Persian Gulf War and lead a jihad against Israel, plunging the world into the final cosmic conflict between good and evil, culminating in the battle of Armageddon."
From time to time, well-meaning folks forward to me stuff that purports to show how the latest conflict in 'X' country against 'Y' leader is the sure sign of the end. Frankly I rarely buy into this stuff, and the linked article details a number of popular apocalypse predictions over the last few decades that fizzled.
I don't know what to make of it. Apparently some people *like* to live scared, and delight in listening to people tell them that doom is impending. I don't.
Not that I'm wearing rose-colored glasses--I keep a sharp eye on the culture, and on national and world events, and I see what is happening. But a steady hand on the tiller is necessary to navigate the storms of life. I see no sense in getting all scrambled up with fear when it is not necessary.
"Fear not, for I am with you."
posted by Desert Cat @ 8:50 PM | permalink
Self-composed: U.S. Invades Iran:Comments
We had to go and do it again. We charged into yet another country because we didn't like what we saw there. There was no concern for what the world community might think, much less waiting for France and Germany's permission. In yet another catastrophic foreign relations blunder, President Bush has invaded Iran with 75 tons of relief supplies, doctors, disaster relief experts, and search and rescue teams.
I predict you'll soon see the following:"
Go read it! Thanks to Annika for the headsup.
posted by Desert Cat @ 7:54 PM | permalink
Police manhandled me: JacksonComments
Cry me a river, freak!
posted by Desert Cat @ 7:17 PM | permalink
Howard Dean HypocrisyComments
Looks like Governor Dean had himself a secret energy task force when he was governor of Vermont. Yeah yeah sure, it was different somehow, but not really.
Dean held closed energy task force - The Washington Times: Nation/Politics: "'The governor needs to receive advice from time to time in closed session. As every person in government knows, sometimes you get more open discussion when it's not public,' Mr. Dean was quoted as saying"
Mr. Dean's group volunteered the names of those it consulted with in its final report. Although Mr. Cheney has refused to give a list to Congress formally to preserve executive privilege, his aides have divulged to reporters the names of many from whom the task force sought advice.
President Bush's campaign and the Republican Party received millions in donations from energy interests in the election before its task force was created. Mr. Dean's Vermont re-election campaign received only small contributions from energy executives, but a political action committee created as he prepared to run for president collected $19,000, or nearly one-fifth of its first $110,000, from donors tied to Vermont's electric utilities.
Um hm. Same same!
posted by Desert Cat @ 10:42 AM | permalink
Sunday, December 28, 2003
Another for the Humor list: Anger ManagementComments
posted by Desert Cat @ 10:54 PM | permalink
Here's another blog to keep an eye on, and probably put in the weBlogs of Note list. Similar in outlook to Vox Day and myself, he appears to be another Christian libertarian:Comments
A Life of Freedom
posted by Desert Cat @ 8:37 PM | permalink
Hah! I finally found it again. The "Secret Diaries of Cassandra Claire"--really the secret diaries of the characters in Fellowship of the Ring. It is a hoot! Give it a whirl.Comments
~*~ Secret Diaries ~*~
posted by Desert Cat @ 8:20 PM | permalink
Browsing a few other weblogs, it looks like parts of the country got some serious snowfall. I was unaware. A popular activity seems to be posting snow pictures on one's blog. I have no snow, but maybe these pics (taken a couple of days ago in my garden) will be an inspiration to those busy shoveling the white stuff.Comments
My garden was touched by frost last night. Some of the less hardy tropical plants will lose some of their leaves. But the tangerines are ripening nicely, and the grapefruit will follow soon. This afternoon it is a cool but sunny 50 degrees. Last week it was in the 70's.
As an expatriate Minnesotan I have earned the right to gloat. :)
posted by Desert Cat @ 12:59 PM | permalink
Friday, December 26, 2003
Another Iraqi blogger with interesting things to say:Comments
posted by Desert Cat @ 8:08 PM | permalink
And now for a "different" view of things...Comments
Liberals Are Really Swell
posted by Desert Cat @ 7:24 PM | permalink
Thursday, December 25, 2003
UPDATE: I'm bumping this to the top, and will keep it here until you all read it. It's that important.Comments
The Law of Good or the Law of Right?
TCS: Tech Central Station - Tiananmen in London
This is an astounding piece! I have seen it linked in several places in the blogosphere and finally decided to read it. I highly recommend setting aside the 15-20 minutes it will take to get through it. When you are through, you will have a much better framework within which to understand what is happening in the world re: the war on terror, left vs. right, Islam vs. the West, etc.
Bottom line for me, it gives me a solid framework to understand why I have felt the need to drift away from my previous positions on the religious Right, and toward a Christian conservative/libertarian ideology. Essentially the author shows that, however well-motivated, attempts to enforce the Law of Good by secular authority always end in failure at best, or catastrophe at worst. I fully concur with what he has demonstrated.
What do you think? I'd be interested to hear different perspectives.
Link via Irreverent Probity
posted by Desert Cat @ 9:48 PM | permalink
What happens when Law students discuss the Lord of the Rings?Comments
This: Letters of Marque: Sauron: Offer and acceptance
Link via The Politburo Diktat
posted by Desert Cat @ 9:47 PM | permalink
Wednesday, December 24, 2003
General Wesley Clark: "I'll beat the sh*t out of them!"Comments
"I hope that's not on television," he added.
It was, live, on C-SPAN.
First we had John F***ing Kerry, now this... :D
posted by Desert Cat @ 10:37 PM | permalink
Who the heil is Bunsen anyway?Comments
bunsen [dot] tv presents: The Greatest Blog in the World
posted by Desert Cat @ 9:15 PM | permalink
RIAA vs. The MassesComments
Here's a good idea: since the RIAA can't possibly sue everyone who is file sharing, they sue a handful at a time with much fanfare in the media, hoping to scare the rest of the file sharers. This site allows you to donate to a legal defense fund for the unlucky few, via PayPal. Ten or twenty bucks times lots of people, will equal enough to help these people fight back.
Downhill Battle Peer-to-Peer Legal Defense Fund
Link via Bunsen
posted by Desert Cat @ 9:02 PM | permalink
Desert Cat's Christmas Lights
Christmas Eve, Santa's on his way.
I'm snugly ensconced behind my laptop, Mrs. Cat is next to me writing a letter. Bing Crosby is singing on the CD and the glass of Eggnog is going down just fine. We just returned from Christmas Eve service at our church. The fragrance of the spice cake in the oven greeted our return.
I hope that wherever you are, it is where you want to be. And if it is not, then I pray for you a blessing from the King of Kings, that He will bless you this night with the abiding presence of His Spirit of Peace. And I extend to you my warm greetings, and my wishes that Christmas Day will bring you all that you desire.
posted by Desert Cat @ 8:25 PM | permalink
Europe and the Post-Modern LeftComments
This is another excellent essay, if a bit longer and denser than the "Tiananemin in London" noted above. Screw on your thinking caps and sharpen your senses before plunging in. It presents an excellent history of the philosophy of the post-modern Left--from its roots in Rosseau's rejection of Christianity as a moderating influence for Democratic Capitalism, down through Marxism, Nazism, to the nihilism, "weak thinking" and propagandizing that it has now descended to.
His conclusion is that Classical Liberalism, or Democratic Capitalism does not need to fight a defensive battle agains the forces of the Post-Modern Left. Instead he says, "it is simply wrong to fight a defensive battle in this sphere because the revealed difficulties with the ideologies descending from Rousseau are far more significant than those of Democratic Capitalism."
Get your brain thoroughly wrapped around this essay, and you'll have an endless arsenal with which to rip the Idiotarians.
posted by Desert Cat @ 2:37 PM | permalink
ScrappleFace: Yes, Virginia, There is a 'United' States of AmericaComments
Scrappleface is usually about humor. But this is a reasonably well-written serious essay. Here's an excerpt:
"But the United States of America isn't about politics, or ideological debate, or the constant buzz of news -- which is, afterall, simply entertaining drama. All drama demands conflict, protagonists, antagonists and change. That's what the news is. People who look to it for a faithful reproduction of events, look amiss. Like a good play, you must allow the news to entertain and challenge you. You must suspend disbelief to be swept into a world where big pronoucements mask little minds, altruistic gestures disguise selfish motives, and one shocking event follows another in rapid succession, because that's the way the producers want it. In the end, the characters in the news must be in conflict for the drama to occur. Therefore, peace and goodwill have little place on the pages of the paper or in the ceaseless drone of broadcast news. Cooperation, human kindness and small acts by ordinary people, which make up the vast majority of all activity in our land, may only appear in the news to provide an infrequent counterpoint or ironic commentary to the steady drumming of cynicism and conflict. The news is not reality. It is simply an effort by writers and actors to suffuse their own lives with meaning by creating compelling drama.
But that is not the real America, Virginia. If we were to accept the somber intonation 'That's the way it was' we would be deceived, drained and defeated. If you trust the news, as your professors and fellow students apparently do, then there is no United States. We are deeply riven, savagely torn, irreconcilably different.
Don't trust the news. The real America, while perpetually stained with the residue of human fallibility, is at the same time more mundane and more meaningful than the news.
posted by Desert Cat @ 8:19 AM | permalink
This one too.
posted by Desert Cat @ 8:10 AM | permalink
Allah Is In The HouseComments
Watza matta with me. Get this on the humor links, lazy putz!
posted by Desert Cat @ 8:09 AM | permalink
Tuesday, December 23, 2003
VRWC: The Neo-MaleComments
Jaymz at VRWC has an interesting follow-up to Kim DuToit's pussification rant:
To me being a man means responsibility. I have a responsibility to be good to my wife and child and see that they're feed and taken care off. This means working a job and bringing home the money, handling the finances, instilling morals in my son while taking care of any potential threat that could come to my household. This does not mean that my wife submits her responsibility entirely to me. She's accountable for herself and she has an equal responsibility in raising the child. But she doesn't own me and I don't own her. We respect each other, just as it should be.
You see, this has something to do with all the anti-Bush sentiment out there. The responsibility of the Commander-in-Chief is to protect the United States from all threats. Bush saw a threat to the country he loves and is sworn to protect. He called them out and when he was told he could do nothing about by other people, he did it anyway because it was his responsibility.
That's what these bleeding-heart liberal metro-sexuals just can't fucking understand; that man, a real man from Texas, would do the job he swore to do no matter what. Even if it cost him his career, he would still have had the balls to blow the UN and the EU off and do his duty. That's what a man does with responsibility, he gets it done.
Go read the rest.
posted by Desert Cat @ 11:47 PM | permalink
Noted for future additional perusal:Comments
Sheila Astray's Redheaded Ramblings
posted by Desert Cat @ 4:18 PM | permalink
Christ by ProxyComments
Insight: His life was cut short for our sakes. Now he lives his life through us on this earth, and we have life through him in the world to come. Considering who he is and what that offers to us, the exchange is very worthwhile, no?
The more secure the fit of the glove to the hand in this world, the more secure the fit for eternity. What are we giving up anyway? Nothing that we can keep in the end. Nothing that gives us *that* much pleasure either, after all. The idea that it can is just an illusion. It may take a few decades of living to realize that however.
"Take my yoke upon you, for my yoke is easy and my burden is light."
posted by Desert Cat @ 3:48 PM | permalink
Rush on the 'Whispering Campaign' against himComments
Rush was today finally able to say more about some of the rumors batted about by the press related to his addiction to painkillers. VERY interesting stuff coming out here. He was allegedly blackmailed (to the tune of $4M) by the very woman who ended up selling her story to the National Enquirer anyway for another quarter million dollars. And it is beginning to appear that all these rumors that he was being investigated or charged with a) illegal purchases of pills from drug dealers, b) involvement in narcotics trafficking, c) money laundering, etc. are turning out to be false. If they were true, why would they be fiddling with his medical records, trying to find out if they can make some kind of case? Why not "go for the gold" and charge him as rumored? Hmm?
Some cynics may say the truth is being squelched because of who he is. But by whom? In fact, it is looking to me more like he is being targeted in unusual ways, by malicious and false press leaks, by the political enemies he has made, precisely because of who he is. Remember, the Florida courts are packed with Democrat appointees and Palm Beach County is heavily Democrat--Democrats with an axe to grind (2000 anyone?).
So what do they actually have on him? So far it is a fishing expedition, where they seized his medical records (by improper procedures, according to Florida law) in order to try to make a case for "doctor shopping". Now he has been open about the fact that he was addicted to pain medications, and one way or another he was able to stay supplied. Whether he improperly obtained multiple prescriptions remains to be seen. But it appears to be turning out that the vast majority of the other whispered charges against him are bogus.
posted by Desert Cat @ 3:07 PM | permalink
As we all know, there are certain limits to the rights of free expression in this country. For example, it is not permissible to shout "OBJECTIVE MORALITY!" in a crowded Democratic Convention hall, because the resulting stampede could cause serious injury or death.
posted by Desert Cat @ 11:08 AM | permalink
Blog of another Wildcat! W00t!!11!Comments
posted by Desert Cat @ 10:58 AM | permalink
Monday, December 22, 2003
Republicans for Sharpton. Al Sharpton for President? Al Sharpton for democratic nominee. Turn the 2004 Democratic primary into a campaign circus.Comments
Heh! I've been on this idea for months. Glad to see someone making something of it.
posted by Desert Cat @ 10:10 PM | permalink
Conservative Voices Against ProhibitionComments
It is with pleasure that I link to this article on NRO--that high-minded bastion of conservative thought. Nothing makes me happier than to see sane conservative commentary against the war on drugs.
Doug Bandow on Drugs on National Review Online: "But the drug laws are the real dangerous threats to public health and safety. The only way to protect the public is to guarantee the right of the sick to use marijuana and to stop jailing pot smokers who just want to get high. "
Thanks to Peter (who else?) for the link.
posted by Desert Cat @ 9:32 PM | permalink
More information on the ties between Al-Qaeda and Saddam Hussein, dating from the Clinton Administration era. And this information is not based on "forged documents":Comments
The Clinton View of Iraq-al Qaeda Ties
posted by Desert Cat @ 5:20 PM | permalink
Cryptonomicon.Net - 'DVD Jon' AcquittedComments
This is the guy who wrote the software that allows DVD owners to make backup copies of their discs. Chalk up another one against the RIAA/MPAA cabal.
posted by Desert Cat @ 2:44 PM | permalink
Why is Marijuana Illegal?Comments
A little bit of history. You may be surprised...or not.
Marijuana prohibition was founded on lies--violent, despicable, racist lies--and it is by lies that it continues to be prosecuted.
Thanks to Peter for the info.
posted by Desert Cat @ 12:56 PM | permalink
Saturday, December 20, 2003
Return of the King, condensed parody versionComments
If you're not a Tolkien fan or have not seen the RotK, this will make no sense. But if you have, this one is truly a gut-splitter: mollyringwraith: Return of the King, condensed parody version
Lots of gut-splitting lately...I'm getting sore... :D
Thanks to Ith for the link.
posted by Desert Cat @ 11:17 PM | permalink
OMG, I am dying again! This is a serious product!Comments
Flatulence Filter Seat Cushions by GasBGon
Link via Aurora
posted by Desert Cat @ 9:47 PM | permalink
Pot Luck-A victory for federalismComments
An article that expands upon what I noted below regarding the recent Ninth Circuit court decision on medical marijuana. I was not aware that the Ninth has been deciding in favor of federalism and for limits on the reach of the Commerce Clause previously.
I just have to chuckle at the position this puts people on both the left and the right. Here I thought that the mythical "right to privacy" discovered in an "emanation of the penumbra" of the Constitution would end up forming the basis to overturn Prohibition. Now I wonder if new limits on the Commerce Clause will be the primary vehicle for overturning Prohibition.
On the bottom line though, I think the real driving force will be the lies of the Drug War backfiring in the general population, and the resulting cultural shift in attitudes toward use.
posted by Desert Cat @ 9:00 PM | permalink
posted by Desert Cat @ 12:18 AM | permalink
Friday, December 19, 2003Comments
posted by Desert Cat @ 11:39 PM | permalink
Chaotic Not RandomComments
Top-notch writing. I can only dream of being this good...
posted by Desert Cat @ 11:23 PM | permalink
In fact, for years I used the name Gandalf online, I played a D&D character, a wizard I called Gandalf. In many ways I am still like Gandalf. But "Gandalf" was a part of me that I chose to put away some years ago, because it had become associated with much that was painful in my life.
A couple of other iterations of the quiz I came up as Eomer and Gimli--nothing wrong with those. :)
posted by Desert Cat @ 10:46 PM | permalink
Who thinks up these things??!Comments
I'm having a true ROTFLMAO moment...trying to catch my breath...my chest is trying to explode...tears streaming from my face...
How to make bedroom slippers out of maxi pads: click for the full directions and a photo of the final product.
"How to make bedroom slippers out of maxi pads"
* Soft and Hygienic
* Non-slip grip strips on the soles
* Built in deodorant feature
* Keeps feet smelling fresh
* No more bending over to mop up spills
* Disposable and biodegradable. Environmentally safe
* Three convenient sizes: Regular, Light day and Get out the Sand Bags
I also can't figure out why I find this so funny...maybe because I followed a link over from this post over at Dean Esmay's blog.
This is better than the tampon angel...
posted by Desert Cat @ 10:29 PM | permalink
I just realized the last five blog entries were all generated as a result of reading ONE blog.Comments
I think I better go read somewhere else, before people start talking...
posted by Desert Cat @ 9:39 PM | permalink
I just adore this man. :D
"Reports that say something hasn't happened are interesting to me, because as we know, there are known unknowns; there things we know we know," Rumsfeld told the briefing.
"We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns -- the ones we don't know we don't know."
John Lister, spokesman for the campaign which strives to have public information delivered in clear, straightforward English, said: "We think we know what he means. But we don't know if we really know."
posted by Desert Cat @ 9:33 PM | permalink
Ok, how'd I miss this one the first time through? Interesting reading.Comments
Thoughts on Male-Female cognitive differences.
posted by Desert Cat @ 9:17 PM | permalink
The Eternal NowComments
This is really good! This expresses quite well a concept I have been flirting with.
Via Aurora: "Eckhart Tolle Says:
'Nothing Exists Outside The Now'
Aren't past and future just as real, sometimes even more real, than the present? After all, the past determines who we are, as well as how we perceive and behave in the present. And our future goals determine which actions we take in the present.
'You haven't yet grasped the essence of what I am saying because you are trying to understand it mentally. The mind cannot understand this. Only you can. Please just listen.
Have you ever experienced, done, thought, or felt anything outside the Now? Do you think you ever will? Is it possible for anything to happen or be outside the Now? The answer is obvious, is it not?
Nothing ever happened in the past; it happened in the Now.
Nothing will ever happen in the future; it will happen in the Now.
What you think of as the past is a memory trace, stored in the mind, of a former Now. When you remember the past, you reactivate a memory trace- and you do so now. The future is an imagined Now, a projection of the mind. When the future comes, it comes as the Now. When you think about the future, you do it now. Past and future obviously have no reality of their own. Just as the moon has no light of its own, but can only reflect the light of the sun, so are past and future only pale reflections of the light, power, and reality of the eternal present. Their reality is 'borrowed' from the Now.
The essence of what I am saying here cannot be understood by the mind. The moment you grasp it, there is a shift in consciousness from mind to Being, from time to presence. Suddenly, everything feels alive, radiates energy, emanates Being.'"
posted by Desert Cat @ 8:45 PM | permalink
"Internationalization" of the War Effort-- The Latest Red-Herring of the LeftComments
The New Republic Online: International Man of Mystery
Link via Aurora
posted by Desert Cat @ 5:41 PM | permalink
Woo! New inbound blog link! Groveling pays off... ;)Comments
"My Love Isobel, Married to Myself..."
posted by Desert Cat @ 5:20 PM | permalink
Excite News--Record Industry May Not Subpoena ProvidersComments
WASHINGTON (AP) - A federal appeals court ruled Friday the recording industry can't force Internet providers to identify subscribers swapping music online, dramatically setting back the industry's anti-piracy campaign.
Bingo! This is a victory for due process and consumer privacy.
posted by Desert Cat @ 10:38 AM | permalink
Excite News--Court: Kazaa Not Responsible for SwappingComments
AMSTERDAM, Netherlands (AP) - The makers of Kazaa, the world's most popular computer file-sharing program, cannot be held liable for copyright infringement of music or movies swapped on its free software, the Dutch Supreme Court ruled Friday.
posted by Desert Cat @ 10:37 AM | permalink
Wednesday, December 17, 2003
The Nearest Thing To Heaven
this side of the grave, that's what!
Until you have tried it, you just have no idea...
And yes, they can still ship it in time for Christmas! I just ordered another couple of pounds to share. :)
posted by Desert Cat @ 11:15 PM | permalink
You know you've been sitting on the "throne" too long (reading, of course), when the skin on the backs of your thighs threatens to peel off as you rise, and the cat has fallen fast asleep in your trouser bottoms...Comments
posted by Desert Cat @ 9:06 PM | permalink
The Campaign of Hate and FearComments
Some of my fellow Democrats are unpatriotic.
BY ORSON SCOTT CARD
OpinionJournal - Extra:
"Watching the primary campaigns among this year's pathetic crop of Democratic candidates, I can't help but think that their campaigns would be vastly improved if they would only rise to the level of 'Death to the Republicans.'
Instead, their platforms range from Howard Dean's 'Bush is the devil' to everybody else's 'I'll make you rich, and Bush is quite similar to the devil.' Since President Bush is quite plainly not the devil, one wonders why anyone in the Democratic Party thinks this ploy will play with the general public.
Am I saying that critics of the war aren't patriotic?
Not at all--I'm a critic of some aspects of the war. What I'm saying is that those who try to paint the bleakest, most anti-American, and most anti-Bush picture of the war, whose purpose is not criticism but deception in order to gain temporary political advantage, those people are indeed not patriotic. They have placed their own or their party's political gain ahead of the national struggle to destroy the power base of the terrorists who attacked Americans abroad and on American soil. "
That's exactly the point! Nice to see that there are a few Democrats left who have not succumbed to insanity yet...
posted by Desert Cat @ 7:40 PM | permalink
The Seattle Times: The blogs of freedomComments
Here is a nice example of what I mean by the major media starting to sit up and pay attention to the blogosphere.
Something more powerful than terrorist attacks and resistance was under way there even before Saddam's dramatic capture. It is reflected partly by a growing cadre of passionate, pro-democracy Iraqis providing firsthand reporting, commentary and pointed media criticism on their own Internet "Web log" sites, or "blogs."
The few reports from old media outlets on a rally of 5,000 to 10,000 Iraqis in Baghdad last week — just days before Saddam was taken — portrayed it largely as an "anti-terrorism" event. It was much more, according to an increasingly cited Iraqi blogger named Zeyad (healingiraq.blogspot.com) who roamed the crowds snapping photos with a new digital camera provided by American Jeff Jarvis, the president and creative director of Ad-vance.net.
Zeyad stressed, "It wasn't just against terrorism. It was against Arab media, against the interference of neighbouring countries, against dictatorships, against Wahhabism, against oppression, and of course against the Ba'ath and Saddam. ... At one point it struck me that our many differences as an Iraqi people meant nothing. Here we were all together shouting in different languages the same slogans, "NO NO to terrorism, YES YES for peace."
Along with law professor and technology writer Glenn Reynolds' noted instapundit.com, Jarvis' blog (buzzmachine.com) is among the focal points for links to the real story in Iraq; and for no-holds-barred "fisking," or taking apart, of biased U.S. and European media coverage.
All told, there's an impressive network of U.S. bloggers rooting on their Iraqi colleagues, spreading their message, and even providing software and other technical assistance. To get a sense of the building buzz, scour some of the 1,360 Web pages (as of last week), accessed via Google, that contain the phrase "Iraqi blogs."
Yeah, I guess that *could* be a definition of "fisking". :D :D
Go read the rest!
posted by Desert Cat @ 7:17 PM | permalink
Leftist Bias in the Media? Nah!Comments
Eheheheheh! Good luck painting Bernard Goldberg as some right-wing wacko. Looks like he's up and written a book telling us what we on the right already know.
Amazon.com: Books: Bias : A CBS Insider Exposes How the Media Distort the News:
From the Publisher
IN HIS NEARLY thirty years at CBS News, Emmy Award- winner Bernard Goldberg earned a reputation as one of the preeminent reporters in the television news business. When he looked at his own industry, however, he saw that the media far too often ignored their primary mission: objective, disinterested reporting. Again and again he saw that they slanted the news to the left. For years Goldberg appealed to reporters, producers, and network executives for more balanced reporting, but no one listened. The liberal bias continued. Now, in Bias, he blows the whistle on the news business, showing exactly how the media slant their coverage while insisting that they're just reporting the facts.
About the Author
Bernard Goldberg is the winner of seven Emmy Awards and was once rated by TV Guide as one of the ten most interesting people on television. Having served for nearly thirty years as a reporter and producer for CBS News, he now reports for the critically acclaimed HBO program Real Sports, hosted by Bryant Gumbel. Goldberg has written op-eds for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post. He lives with his family in Miami."
Yeah, he's just some no-name right-wing kook, all right...
posted by Desert Cat @ 7:08 PM | permalink
Global Cooling Catastrophe Imminent!Comments
Global Cooling -- Newsweek Magazine
If it was true thirty years ago, it has to be that much worse today! Another reason to vote Republican! If the Democrats have their way, and emissions of greenhouse gasses are limited, based on misplaced fears of global warming, the catastrophe could be that much greater.
Buy an SUV and help Mother Earth avert this horrible outcome!
posted by Desert Cat @ 6:49 PM | permalink
CNN -- Calculated BiasComments
Isn'tapundit has done a good job of documenting CNN's blatant, calculated bias. Days after they studiously ignored tens of thousands of pro-American, anti-terrorist marchers in Baghdad, they cover a few hundred pro-Saddam protesters in Tikrit.
Big deal? It is.
If the press is to be trusted with the "fourth estate" in American politics (and with campaign-finance reform, suddenly they play a *much* larger role), they MUST tell the whole story, the full and the objective story. They are documented over and over to be failing at this charge. They have become a political tool in the hands of the elites, who by and large, are part of the liberal establishment.
In the great scheme of things, the blogosphere is a whisper in the midst of the mainstream media roar. But it is getting louder, and it appears to be falling to bloggers (amongst others) to hold the feet of the elite media to the fire, and point to their failings when they occur.
So I have maybe a couple dozen readers. But there are thousands, maybe tens of thousands of others like me, gathering and disseminating this information, that otherwise may never make it to a wider audience. It is background noise maybe, but it is starting to be noticed by those who matter. Rush for example, seems to have recently been paying a lot more attention to the blogosphere. There seems to be some indication that the fringe elements of the left are exerting a substantial influence on the political discourse in the lead-up to the primary season, via the blogosphere (think "Democrat Underground") and the campaign of Howard Dean. Drudge has become a standard. Other bloggers have been getting mentions in the press in various places--an indication that the press is keeping a wary eye on the blogosphere, if no one else is.
isntapundit : A Tradition of Insolence
posted by Desert Cat @ 4:45 PM | permalink
Parents Sue Over Drug Raid at South Carolina SchoolComments
My Way - News:Parents of students at a South Carolina high school charged in a federal lawsuit on Monday that their children were terrorized by armed police and drug-sniffing dogs during an illegal search at the school.
The lawsuit stems from the surprise commando-style drug search of 107 students at Stratford High School in Goose Creek, South Carolina, on Nov. 5.
A widely televised surveillance tape of the raid showed police with guns drawn, handcuffing students with plastic cuffs and ordering them not to move while officers and dogs searched them. No drugs or weapons were found and no arrests were made.
The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in Charleston, South Carolina, on behalf of 20 Stratford High students aged 14 to 18. It accuses police and school officials of violating the students' constitutional rights by conducting an illegal search and seizure, using excessive force, committing assault and battery and subjecting students to false imprisonment.
Glad to see this lawsuit going forward. Justice demands it. There was no rational or legal basis for this raid or for the tactics employed. If the Bill of Rights means anything in this country anymore, this lawsuit must be successful.
posted by Desert Cat @ 2:51 PM | permalink
Locally Grown Medical Marijuana Not Subject To Federal BanComments
Sometimes the Ninth Circus Court, like the ACLU, is actually useful. Good news for opponents of Federal tyranny! Let's pray for the decision to be sustained on the expected appeal.
Medical pot wins a legal victory / U.S. appeals court ruling is likely to face a challenge: "Medical marijuana advocates scored a potential legal breakthrough Tuesday when a federal appeals court ruled that two Northern California women could use locally grown pot without risking federal prosecution.
The federal ban on marijuana is probably unconstitutional as applied to individuals who obtain the drug without buying it, get it within their state's borders and use it for medical purposes on their doctors' advice and in compliance with state law, said the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco -- the first court ever to issue such a ruling"
UPDATE: I should note that one of the most interesting aspects of this ruling is the basis for it. Essentially they agreed with the appellants position that the Commerce Clause should not apply in this case. Given the liberal make-up of this court, that is quite interesting. Usually arguments for limits on the reach of the Commerce Clause fall on deaf ears. Usually those arguing for federalism or "state's rights" are branded as right-wing kooks. So this decision may cause a bit of apoplexy for conservative statists, and perhaps a touch of consternation for their liberal counterparts. :D
posted by Desert Cat @ 9:59 AM | permalink
Tuesday, December 16, 2003
Strokes for the ReadershipComments
So, the Great Minds of the blogosphere say that, to build readership, you need to respond to the comments that readers leave in the comments section. Ok people, sorry I don't always do that. I'm not ignoring you, really! I just didn't have anything else to add sometimes. For example, Anna left me speechless, wondering what the heck I was supposed to say to *that*, (back a few days ago). :-o
Henceforth I shall usually respond. While I'm groveling a bit, I might as well mention, I really wouldn't mind being linked if you have a blog of your own. I just hate begging, but I'm doing it now. If you read me semi-regularly (or even once in a blue moon), woncha link me, even in your "pathetic bloggers who begged to be linked" list? Let this be blanket "permission" (as if you had to ask in the first place--yes, yes!) I mean, what's an exhibitionist without an audience?
Erm...*ahem* (dusting myself off...) enough of that for now. I try not to be pathetic here after all (I maintain a different blog for that purpose).
posted by Desert Cat @ 5:00 PM | permalink
IMAO: In My World: Ace in the HoleComments
The funniest man in the blogosphere comes through again! :D
posted by Desert Cat @ 12:19 AM | permalink
Monday, December 15, 2003
Ventura Rips Chong Bong Rap, Drug CzarComments
Looks like Jesse Ventura has himself a show on MSNBC. The link is to a transcript on the topic of marijuana policy, with Jesse ripping hard on Tom Riley of the Drug Czar's office. Peter can have the flaky Kucinich--I'll take Ventura for President any day. :)
Thanks to Drug War Rant for the link.
posted by Desert Cat @ 11:48 PM | permalink
Drug WarRant-- Kenneth Walker, Drug War VictimComments
Another innocent victim of the madness...
posted by Desert Cat @ 11:31 PM | permalink
"Evangelical Christian" or "Christian Libertarian"?Comments
Vox Day commenting on Karl Rove's outreach to the evangelical Christian and Jewish communities, quotes an article by Christopher Manion that notes that 4 million evangelicals did not vote in 2000. "He (Karl Rove) begs: "in 2000, only 16 million of you voted. We need the other four million." In both meetings, Rove stresses the importance of President Bush's invasion of Iraq and his support of Israel. But only with the evangelicals does he stress the president's unwavering support for the moral issues that are their priorities abortion, pornography, judges, and (most important) the Marriage Amendment.":
"Don't hold your breath, Karl
I can't vouch for the veracity of the numbers, but I can tell you two things. 1) I am one of the four million who didn't vote for either a Republican or a Democrat in 2000. 2) There will be more than four million who won't vote for either next time.
A man of principle does what he believes is right regardless of the cost. I don't see that in President Bush, still less the Republican Party. I see no reason why evangelical Christians should spend any money or effort supporting it. I now style myself a Christian Libertarian, and I hope that one day, I'll be able to cast a vote for a principled member of that party."
Wait a minute now! Is Vox really trying to say he is speaking as one of these 4 million evangelical Christians? Generally the category "evangelical Christian" refers to an individual with an outreach-oriented faith. But politically speaking "evangelical Christian" is almost synonymous with social conservative. The people Mr. Rove is reaching out to (with priorities such as ending abortion on demand, restricting access to pornography, passing the Marriage Amendment, etc.) are social conservatives or conservative statists. Now that's a species that has rather different political goals than Christian Libertarians, of whom Vox counts himself a member. Social conservatives don't seem to mind increasing government power, so long as it is used to advance their agenda. You can't have your cake and eat it too--let's not be blurring these distinctions. If these folks do not turn out to vote for Bush, it will likely be for very different reasons than for folks like Mr. Day.
I will be voting for Bush, despite the necessity of holding my nose on a (large) number of his statist positions, because the alternative is simply too horrific to contemplate. Give me a Christian Libertarian with a prayer of a chance of winning and I'll gladly cast my vote for him. But until we see such an unusual character, I'll be voting for and campaigning for Republicans.
Sometimes a man of principle trying to do what he believes is right "regardless of the cost", ends up doing wrong as a result. If the result of voting one's principles regardless of consequences means putting a liberal statist in office, then I'd rather be a little bit wrong than very, very wrong! How many "purist" Democrats now rue their vote for Ralph Nader?
posted by Desert Cat @ 10:31 PM | permalink
Saddam Hussein Connected to 9/11 -- Documented proof uncovered!Comments
The link below requires registration. I have excerpted the article below:
Telegraph | News | Terrorist behind September 11 strike was trained by Saddam
"Terrorist behind September 11 strike was trained by Saddam
By Con Coughlin
Iraq's coalition government claims that it has uncovered documentary proof that Mohammed Atta, the al-Qaeda mastermind of the September 11 attacks against the US, was trained in Baghdad by Abu Nidal, the notorious Palestinian terrorist.
Details of Atta's visit to the Iraqi capital in the summer of 2001, just weeks before he launched the most devastating terrorist attack in US history, are contained in a top secret memo written to Saddam Hussein, the then Iraqi president, by Tahir Jalil Habbush al-Tikriti, the former head of the Iraqi Intelligence Service.
The handwritten memo, a copy of which has been obtained exclusively by the Telegraph, is dated July 1, 2001 and provides a short resume of a three-day 'work programme' Atta had undertaken at Abu Nidal's base in Baghdad.
In the memo, Habbush reports that Atta 'displayed extraordinary effort' and demonstrated his ability to lead the team that would be 'responsible for attacking the targets that we have agreed to destroy'.
The second part of the memo, which is headed 'Niger Shipment', contains a report about an unspecified shipment - believed to be uranium - that it says has been transported to Iraq via Libya and Syria.
Although Iraqi officials refused to disclose how and where they had obtained the document, Dr Ayad Allawi, a member of Iraq's ruling seven-man Presidential Committee, said the document was genuine.
'We are uncovering evidence all the time of Saddam's involvement with al-Qaeda,' he said. 'But this is the most compelling piece of evidence that we have found so far. It shows that not only did Saddam have contacts with al-Qaeda, he had contact with those responsible for the September 11 attacks.'
And over at the DU, I can almost hear them still chanting: "noproof!noproof!noproof!noproof!noproof!noproof!...ack! That's not proof! thatsnotproof!thatsnotproof!thatsnotproof!thatsnotproof!..."
Here is an excerpt from a related article --
Telegraph | News | Does this link Saddam to 9/11?
"Written in the neat, precise hand of Tahir Jalil Habbush al-Tikriti, the former head of the Iraqi Intelligence Service (IIS) and one of the few named in the US government's pack of cards of most-wanted Iraqis not to have been apprehended, the personal memo to Saddam is signed by Habbush in distinctive green ink.
Headed simply 'Intelligence Items', and dated July 1, 2001, it is addressed: 'To the President of the Ba'ath Revolution Party and President of the Republic, may God protect you.'
The first paragraph states that 'Mohammed Atta, an Egyptian national, came with Abu Ammer (an Arabic nom-de-guerre - his real identity is unknown) and we hosted him in Abu Nidal's house at al-Dora under our direct supervision.
'We arranged a work programme for him for three days with a team dedicated to working with him . . . He displayed extraordinary effort and showed a firm commitment to lead the team which will be responsible for attacking the targets that we have agreed to destroy.'
There is nothing in the document that provides any clue to the identity of the 'targets', although Iraqi officials say it is a coded reference to the September 11 attacks.
The second item contains a report of how Iraqi intelligence, helped by 'a small team from the al-Qaeda organisation', arranged for an (unspecified) shipment from Niger to reach Baghdad by way of Libya and Syria.
Iraqi officials believe this is a reference to the controversial shipments of uranium ore Iraq acquired from Niger to aid Saddam in his efforts to develop an atom bomb, although there is no explicit reference in the document to this.
Habbush writes that the successful completion of the shipment was 'the fruit of your excellent secret meeting with Bashir al-Asad (the Syrian president) on the Iraqi-Syrian border', and concludes: 'May God protect you and save you to all Arab nations.'
While it is almost impossible to ascertain whether or not the document is legitimate or a clever fake, Iraqi officials working for the interim government are convinced of its authenticity, even though they decline to reveal where and how they obtained it. 'It is not important how we found it,' said a senior Iraqi security official. 'The important thing is that we did find it and the information it contains.'
A leading member of Iraq's governing council, who asked not to be named, said he was convinced of the document's authenticity.
'There are people who are working with us who used to work with Habbush who are convinced that it is his handwriting and signature. We are uncovering evidence all the time of Saddam's dealings with al-Qaeda, and this document shows the extent of the old regime's involvement with the international terrorist network.'"
UPDATE: Peter brought this to my attention: Dubious Link Between Atta and Saddam
Well it was fun while it lasted. The only problem is, if all this forgery is going on, who is going to believe anything that they are not already predisposed to believe? The left will keep on shrieking "Bush lied!". The right will keep on bellowing "What the hell is with you traitors?!"
Meanwhile the moderates in the Democrat party continue to stand behind the President and this action in Iraq. But they are drowned out by the shrill rhetoric of the extremes.
posted by Desert Cat @ 11:53 AM | permalink
Rush commentary on Democrat UndergroundComments
Listening to Rush just now--it looks like he recently stumbled upon the Democrat Underground! This should be good! Updates as I hear them. :D
Heh - "The Kookville Express" is what he calls them. Nothing too surprising, for those of us who are familiar with the type of idiotarians and asshats that call the DU home, but maybe shocking for the general public.
"Average Democrats" is what he is calling them. He's also quoting from Buzzflash and Democrat.org. Heh heh heh... Really, we know these people are the center of the screeching moonbat universe and probably not very typical as Democrats go. But I can almost feel the real "average Demo's" cringing as he reads these excerpts. Heh heh heh...
"Shine the light of truth"! Some of them might now be saying they are happy for the attention, but frankly I am happier. The more the real "Average Democrat" or "Average American" is exposed to the tinfoil-hat looniness of these people, the more it will drive average Americans into the arms of the Republican Party.
posted by Desert Cat @ 10:24 AM | permalink
This link needs to go on the weBlogs of Note. This is the famous Zeyad, scooper of all the world's media elites on the Iraq protest last week.Comments
posted by Desert Cat @ 7:58 AM | permalink
Sunday, December 14, 2003
FrontPage magazine.com - Iraqis for the "Occupation"Comments
I am still angry at what short-shrift this story got in the American and world press. Ten to twenty thousand Iraqis in Baghdad marching in protest against the terrorists, jihadists, and Ba'athists, and in support of the American-led coalition, at some risk to their own life and limb. From the press--stone cold silence.
When 200 fossilized hippy remnants in Florida protest the war, the news is splashed nationwide. "Objective" media, my flying arse!!
via Healing Iraq
posted by Desert Cat @ 12:02 PM | permalink
The hollowness of the "racism" chargeComments
I found this gem deeply buried in the comments on Emperor Misha's site. The author only left an e-mail address (mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org), but this deserves a bit more exposure.
Free Tactical Advice: the charge of "racism" has been so beaten to death and beyond through overuse that all it now provokes is eye-rolling. (Except for the most craven, guilt-wracked White Liberal NPR types. Still works on them.)
Let me hit you with a mind-grenade:
The only kind of "inclusiveness" that counts is that of the human spirit and the quality of thought.
Everything else is just token-mongering, crypto-supremacist, neo-Plantationist doubletalk - in other words, pretty much what passes for racial politics on the Left.
"Racist attitude?" It is to laugh. White liberals don't want racial equality. They want a kind of human petting zoo where they can enjoy funky ethnic restaurants and feel "worldly" while maintaining their citadels of priviledge. The trick, which they have raised to an art form, is to keep the "oppressed" in line through having them fight the White working class and imprisoning them in that socio-economic crack house known as The Welfare State.
This is why the Left never shows its fangs as much as when confronted with a take-your-pity-and-shove-it, no nonsense minority leader who believes in equality of opportunity AND RESPONSIBILITY for all Americans. People like that must be isolated and destroyed, lest they infect others.
Are there racist asshole rightwingers? Of course. But the engine of racism in American society today IS THE LEFT. The epicenter of the colony-mind dogma that people must not, can not, should not be treated as individuals accountable for their choices and absolutely equal before the law is on the Left. Gay vs straight. Men vs women. Black vs White/Asian/Jewish. Everyone is viewed by category and assigned a victim(izer) role accordingly.
The Left has been very clever and successful in dressing up Neo-Plantationism in the raiment of noble assistance, compassion, "civil rights," etc. But the cloak is slipping, and we all know it.
Here's the key thing: You can fairly say that Conservatives drank from the poisonous well of racism and blind adherence to tradition for too long. They were slow to change, but change they did.
The Left, however, is truly fucked because it CANNOT change. Not with their entire racial and political consciousness being based on collectivism and denial of the individual.
Leftists cannot truly work for the empowerment of ANY individual of ANY color because they simply don't believe in it. They can't realize the goal of emancipation, freedom and dignity for Blacks because, essentially, they don't even want that for their own (White) people.
But they sure can cry "RACISM!" endlessly. They can chant it like a mantra. They can see it behind every tree and blame it for every sparrow that falls from the sky. It's all they can do.
But the game, my friend, is almost up. The Plantations will burn again. Just wait. :)
posted by Desert Cat @ 10:24 AM | permalink
Allah Is In The House:Comments
Allah has done some photoshop wonders on the Gore endorsement of Dean. Here's one, clik the link for the rest:
posted by Desert Cat @ 10:02 AM | permalink
OMG! We got 'im!Comments
Ace of Spades played out
"And there was much rejoicing!" Let December 13 be a day of celebration in remembrance of the war on terror!
Iraqis celebrate news of Saddam's capture
Paul Bremer on Capture of Saddam Hussein on National Review Online
Now we'll see what the IGC does with the fleabag...heh heh heh.
posted by Desert Cat @ 9:05 AM | permalink
Saturday, December 13, 2003
Phil Keaggy - His Music - MP3 Download Page
Speaking of Phil Keaggy, that is a link to a page with a couple of free downloads of his music. Check it out, then buy an album directly off his site. Unlike some musicians, his stuff is good from the first track to the last. He even has the "out of print" "Music to Paint By" CD set available on his site.
posted by Desert Cat @ 9:29 AM | permalink
Friday, December 12, 2003
Here is an interesting site that helps you identify the presidential candidate or party that most closely matches your political views: SelectSmart.com Selectors | 2004 AMERICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE SELECTOR |Comments
I'm not at all surprised at my results for the quiz. I mean, if I say I'm a conservative/libertarian and I get the same score for Bush or a theoretical libertarian candidate, well that says it.
1. Your ideal theoretical candidate. (100%) Click here for info
2. Bush, President George W. - Republican (71%) Click here for info
3. Libertarian Candidate (71%) Click here for info
4. Gephardt, Rep. Dick, MO - Democrat (37%) Click here for info
5. Lieberman, Senator Joe, CT - Democrat (36%) Click here for info
6. Kerry, Senator John, MA - Democrat (34%) Click here for info
7. Phillips, Howard - Constitution (34%) Click here for info
8. Edwards, Senator John, NC - Democrat (32%) Click here for info
9. Dean, Gov. Howard, VT - Democrat (29%) Click here for info
10. Kucinich, Rep. Dennis, OH - Democrat (26%) Click here for info
11. Green Party Candidate (17%) Click here for info
12. Hagelin, Dr. John - Natural Law (16%) Click here for info
13. Socialist Candidate (16%) Click here for info
14. Sharpton, Reverend Al - Democrat (11%) Click here for info
15. LaRouche, Lyndon H. Jr. - Democrat (8%) Click here for info
16. Clark, Retired General Wesley K., AR - Democrat (7%) Click here for info
17. Moseley-Braun, Former Senator Carol, IL - Democrat (3%) Click here for info
posted by Desert Cat @ 6:56 PM | permalink
It's beginning to look a lot like...Comments
It rained last night in the valley. This morning brisk winds were blowing tattered clouds away from the face of the mountains as the sun was rising. Reflecting from the peaks -- snow on the mountains!
Last night we attended an excellent Christmas concert by the Arizona Repertory Singers at a Benedictine Monastery. I was as much taken by the atmosphere of the monastery as I was by the concert itself. Right now I'm listening to Mannheim Steamroller, positively afloat in the Christmas Spirit! :)
posted by Desert Cat @ 2:03 PM | permalink
Ian Hodge on the topic of copyrights and the RIAAComments
WorldNetDaily: In praise of monopolies
There certainly may be people whose prime motive is "getting stuff for free". A far more common theme in this debate is that the RIAA is stubbornly resistant to a new paradigm, and would rather resort to harsh, even absurd tactics in an attempt to preserve a failing business model. For this they rightly deserve to be excoriated.
Apple iTunes is the first glimmer of things to come, although I still think they're a bit overpriced, and RIAA still has their fingers in the pie. In the long term, the RIAA is obsolete--completely unnecessary in a world where artists and fans can be directly linked without the traditional middleman fat-cats who profit from someone else's talents. There is no question that artists deserve to be compensated. But there is no reason to shell out hard-earned dollars to the profiteers from an anachronistic promotion and distribution scheme.
Then there is the issue of ongoing private ownership of copyrights of long-dead artists, and copyrights on works older than fifty years. This exploitation is certainly not defensible with the argument that "artists need to be compensated for their talents". They and their promoters and distributers have long ago been well-compensated. Now the copyrights have been converted into a commodity of sorts, bought and sold purely as an investment. Neither music fans nor artists are being served by this scheme. To the owners of these copyrights, I'd say, "Try cattle futures instead. Hillary seemed to have had success with that strategy..."
There is the further issue of the availability of older material that is no longer being published. In most cases it could only be purchased as used, if it could be found at all. While technically in violation of the copyright, file-sharing makes this material available to a wider audience. Of what use is the copyright to the owner if it is not being exercised?
Finally, there is the issue of the quality of the material that is being passed off to the public by the promoters. Why should it be necessary to purchase a $20 CD in order to have a legal copy of the only one or two songs on the album that are worth listening to? When is the last time that musicians strove to create albums as complete works of art? Most albums are a couple of "hits" and a gob of filler material, slapped together by some pretty-face "band", then hyped to absurdity by these great "protectors of the medium" that we are supposed to respect. There is a lot of great talent out there that is being largely overlooked, because the RIAA fat-cats are more interested in narrowing the field so they can pump their next "great sensation". For talented artists looking for an outlet, this system is often much more of an impediment than a ticket to stardom. For example, I don't know who Phil Keaggy is, nor would I have ever heard of him, except that I stumbled upon some of his music while searching for something else. Some of what I found is really fantastic. But he doesn't make the playlists of any radio format that I have ever heard, nor do I see any albums by his name in the record stores. I don't even listen to music radio anymore because there is nothing worth listening to. Spinner.com is where I turn when I want to listen to something that is not already in my collection.
Kevin A. Hassett, writing in the December 8, 2003 issue of National Review on the topic of macroeconomic theories, has a quote that I think applies quite well to this microeconomic issue. "...(A)s knowledge replaces superstition, adherents of failed models walk off the public stage. It is noisy now for one reason: Discord lies along the path to irrelevance."
posted by Desert Cat @ 11:42 AM | permalink
Wednesday, December 10, 2003
This needs mentioning, since it got almost no coverage in the US media--Omar from Baghdad reporting on the big anti-terrorism demonstration in Iraq today. Some ten thousand Iraqi people demonstrating in favor of the coalition and against the terrorists, and hardly a peep from the media.Comments
I guess it just doesn't fit the "template", does it? Instead they report on French pissing about reconstruction contracts, and two more soldiers killed. This FROSTS me!
IRAQ THE MODEL
posted by Desert Cat @ 11:31 PM | permalink
the Lycaeum - Entheogenic Database & CommunityComments
Note to self--add to Lynx.
posted by Desert Cat @ 9:49 PM | permalink
Tuesday, December 09, 2003
New Zealand News - - French and German firms shut out of Iraq reconstructionComments
Take that U Fhrenche bedwettoirs U!
posted by Desert Cat @ 5:34 PM | permalink
Thanx for the linx...Comments
Very..."interesting" blog. I mean *erm*, well... :^o
EDIT: I should clarify that you probably don't want to visit his blog from work. While the "pinups" that decorate his site are tasteful and classy, some are in a sufficient state of undress that they probably violate some inane company policy...
posted by Desert Cat @ 8:27 AM | permalink
Monday, December 08, 2003
For the twisted "Martha Stewart" sorts--this belongs in the "very naughty" category... (shame on you Anna for forcing me to have to stifle such a tremendous guffaw!)Comments
Tampon Angel Pattern
posted by Desert Cat @ 10:04 PM | permalink
Astronomy Picture of the DayComments
For future reference, this needs to go into my Lynx list. Marvelous source for pics for my screensaver program!
Thanks to Aurora for the headsup!
posted by Desert Cat @ 9:44 PM | permalink
GeorgeWBush.com :: When Angry Democrats AttackComments
I've watched this campaign ad twice now, and I laugh with glee each time! My gawd! All they have to do is play clips of the Demos going off the deep end, and they've got a decent (!) campaign ad!
Oh Lord, I hope Dean gets the Demo nomination (I am dying... :D :D :D)!
posted by Desert Cat @ 8:41 PM | permalink
National Review: "Drug War is Overbearing and Ineffectual"Comments
From National Review, December 8, 2003, "This Week...":
The morning of Wednesday, November 5, was a typical one for students at Stratford High School in Goose Creek, S.C.--until (in the words of the Charleston Post and Courier) "police officers with guns drawn stormed into the school's cafeteria...and began barking orders at startled students...A police dog sniffed drug residue on 12 book bags but found no drugs." The raid was, however, far from a waste of time, providing a metaphor for the drug war in practice--overbearing and ineffectual.
It is a comfort to me to read again that at least some people who are on my page politically and morally, see the current "war on drugs" for what it is.
posted by Desert Cat @ 1:15 PM | permalink
posted by Desert Cat @ 12:05 AM | permalink
Sunday, December 07, 2003
FOXNews.com - Views - Straight Talk - Criminalization Doesn't Curb Booze, Drug UseComments
Interesting article on Fox News
The author's blog.
posted by Desert Cat @ 11:09 PM | permalink
Saturday, December 06, 2003
The File-Sharing DebatesComments
Short, interesting article worth reading.
posted by Desert Cat @ 9:49 PM | permalink
Friday, December 05, 2003
The other side of Santa ClausComments
There certainly appears to be more to the Santa Claus mythos than the benign Bishop of Myra, St. Nicholas. For example, the sleigh, the reindeer, his residence at the "North Pole", the fact that he is referred to as a "right jolly old elf", that he comes down chimneys to appear with gifts, and his penchant for red fur with white trim.
Many of these images entered the popular imagination through the old poem "Twas the Night Before Christmas". But certainly the author was drawing upon an older mythos when he penned his verses.
I have been reading lately about the use of the mushroom Amanita muscaria (Red Toadstool) by Siberian tribesmen. They have been incorrectly identified as highly poisonous, when in fact, in moderate quantities they are not. They are reported to be hallucinogenic in higher quantities, but more interestingly they are reported to produce a warm glow and mirthfulness when consumed in modest quantities. Peter Dilley has this to say about Amanitas:
The basic value of muscaria:
Besides being a delightful tonic, eating muscaria is great in dealing with seasonal and weather related depressive conditions. It really helped me to get through my first real winter in Flagstaff after a lifetime of living in the desert (we had twenty feet of snow and the temperature got down as far as 25 below zero.) I would wake up on a grim, iron-gray morning wanting to spend the day hiding under the blankets, feeling stiff and depressed and chilled to the bone. I would trudge down to the kitchen and have a cup of coffee, then cut off two tablespoons of frozen muscaria from a package in the freezer and sautee it in a little butter. I scrambled it with eggs and cheese, and enjoyed the rich flavor. Within 15 minutes I would feel a surge of energy and cheerfulness. I became toasty warm and envigorated.
The morning would look beautifully pearly-gray, and I anticipated all the things I was going to happily do. I used A. muscaria daily throughout the cold winter months and it wonderfully enhanced my winter-hardiness. It really got me through the acclimatization process. When muscaria works well, it puts a subtle tension in your muscles and makes you want to go out and do something. I am prone to seasonal affective disorder, but muscaria completely counteracts that. It even made Christmas a genuinely happy occasion. For the first time, I experienced the holidays without a hint of depression. If I sound a little bit in love with the stuff, you are correct.
Now given that some of Santa's demographic information strongly suggests that he has cultural ties to Siberian tribesmen, do you suppose it is possible that his jolly demeanor, not to mention his preference for white fringed red coats, might be connected to his traditional consumption of toadstools? Just a thought.
posted by Desert Cat @ 8:51 PM | permalink
Excite News - First Big Winter Storm Blasts NortheastComments
The Northeast's first major storm of the season brought a blustery surge of sleet and snow Friday, closing schools, making a mess on highways and triggering a rush on snow blowers and shovels.
The snow was blamed for at least three traffic deaths, and caused lengthy airport delays.
Forecasters said the system threatened to deliver an even heavier blow over the weekend, with up to 18 inches of snow forecast in parts of New England.
Grinning like a Cheshire Cat here! :D
It was about 75 degrees and sunny in AZ today.
posted by Desert Cat @ 6:40 PM | permalink
Is this what bloggers do when they don't have anything better to do? These quizzes are like chocolate. Addictive!Comments
Via Candy Universe
posted by Desert Cat @ 5:09 PM | permalink
Thursday, December 04, 2003
Yahoo! News - Music Industry Targets Even Computer-Less: "Among the RIAA's recent targets is retiree Ernest Brenot, 79, of Ridgefield, Wash., who wrote in a handwritten note to a federal judge that he does not own a computer nor can he operate one.Comments
Brenot was accused of illegally offering for download 774 songs by artists including Vanilla Ice, U2, Creed, Linkin Park and Guns N' Roses.
Brenot's wife, Dorothy, said she and her husband were stunned by the claims, offended at the suggestion they listened to such music. "
Oh sure, lady! We know your clean-cut appearance is an act. I hear Vanilla Ice is really big down at the bingo parlor.
My favorite whipping-boys have tripped over their peckers again... :D
posted by Desert Cat @ 10:46 PM | permalink
IHT: U.S. panel backs life ban for drugs: "GREENSBORO, North Carolina USA Track Field's board of directors has voted unanimously to ban for life athletes who test positive for steroids, and the so-called zero-tolerance policy would also ban their coaches."Comments
I can't believe this insanity. They call this "zero tolerance"? Are they trying to tell us that banning the athlete's coach along with the athlete would be sufficient to solve the "problem"? The need to ban the athlete's dog! Everyone knows how supportive pets are, and in the case of individuals like these, we just can't have that.
They also need to ban the athlete's mother. After all, she's responsible for giving birth to this human scumpond! Then just to drive the point home, we also need to make sure the athlete's extended family is targeted for persecution. Remember, Mephibosheth was the only one left to whom David could extend mercy. We have standards to uphold!
Sheesh! What is this world coming to??
posted by Desert Cat @ 1:23 PM | permalink
Tuesday, December 02, 2003
People in the News: Hilton's dog has its own little sex scandal: "People in the News: Hilton's dog has its own little sex scandalComments
Tinkerbell is preggers! Isn't that too exciting? The Chihuahua, which airhead heiress Paris Hilton wears like an accessory, was her constant companion during the filming of her new 'reality' series, 'The Simple Life.'
As sister Nicky Hilton tells it, 'She's staying with our friend and got pregnant from a Pomeranian who is three times her size.'
Tinkerbell, that is, not Paris.
People magazine says there's no word on whether any amateur video of the two dogs exists."
posted by Desert Cat @ 10:46 PM | permalink
Monday, December 01, 2003
Alex's photography page:Comments
GIRL: a page by alex
It takes eyes like hers (intensely observant, penetrating, almost to the point of intimidation) to see what she sees in the world around her, to be able to write the things she does. In addition to the stuff on her "weblog" (though she denies that it is a weblog), she has an e-mail letter she sends out. If you like what you see on her website, search for the e-mail sign up. The extra material is, if anything, even better than the public postings.
I should also add that she is nowhere near as young as she looks. And she seems to display wisdom that some people twice her age can't even approach.
posted by Desert Cat @ 11:20 PM | permalink
Future of Drug Testing - SpectRx Skin Patch: "The Future of Drug TestingComments
Wired Magazine reports on a new drug-detection patch under development by SpectRx. 'For the monitor to work, employees first have to have four microscopic holes -- about the size of a human hair -- burnt into the outer layer of their skin by a handheld laser... The oval patch houses a miniature vacuum pump that sucks out interstitial fluid, a clear, water-like fluid that surrounds cells in the body.') When a drug is detected, a miniature transmitter sends out an alert signal."
(...cat hides under desk...)
posted by Desert Cat @ 10:56 PM | permalink
On The Third Hand: More fair and balanced than Fox NewsComments
Zoiks! I've just been added to the blogroll of this site. That'll be a nice traffic spike! :)
posted by Desert Cat @ 10:22 PM | permalink
New Scientist: "Natural high helps banish bad times"Comments
Interesting new research here about how the natural cannabinoid system in the brain works to block unpleasant memories. Plus a bunch of other interesting stuff linked in the sidebar. Go look!
Thanks to Aurora for the link.
posted by Desert Cat @ 9:45 PM | permalink
You are Spearmint.
You are quick-witted and sharp. You pay close
attention to details and you can tell what your
friends are feeling. You are always the first
to understand a joke and you are valued for
your insight and advice. However, you
sometimes isolate yourself from other people,
afraid to share your own feelings.
Most Compatible With: Cinnamon
Which Tic-Tac Flavor Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla
posted by Desert Cat @ 9:33 PM | permalink
Drug WarRant: "If we consider this a success, then it's time to be very afraid."Comments
How long before this becomes standard practice in the US?
posted by Desert Cat @ 9:13 PM | permalink
From The Politburo Diktat comes a map of the blogosphere.Comments
Not surprisingly I didn't make it onto this large scale map, but trust me, there is a small village somewhere near the lower right corner called "Dezart Khat". :)
posted by Desert Cat @ 9:05 PM | permalink
Kim DuToit was recently lamenting how heavy modern armaments have become. It looks like the Pentagon is busy addressing his concerns in a rather, er...uconventional manner.
posted by Desert Cat @ 8:48 PM | permalink
Cat's Rant on Time and the Pursuit of HappinessComments
Life is too short to waste any time being an uptight bastard. It is really short! Your life and my life here on God's Green Earth is so painfully short in the great scheme of things, that it is almost enough to break my heart thinking about it. We have no time for triviality, for TV, interpersonal bullshit, for spending any but the briefest moments angry at anyone we love, for "projects" or other diversions that aren't going to mean a hill of beans in ten, twenty, or fifty years time. Ask yourself this question: "When I am 85 years old, lying flat on my back in a nursing home, unable to get up to crap by myself anymore, is how I am spending my time right now going to make a difference to me then?"
You see, debility and death are inevitable. What will matter then (once it is too late to do anything more), are the things that you did while you could, that were worthwhile--the things you did that you would do again if you could. You will never say to yourself, "dang, I sure wish I had watched a few more reruns on tv...", or "I wish I would have held that grudge against my sister a few more years", or "I sure missed out on working later at the office all those years. I should have worked more weekends too."
Another thing, there is no Shangri La on this earth. There is no place anywhere like paradise. Nowhere is perfect and no one is perfect to live with. There are places better than others, people better than others, but it is a waste to focus your life on trying to find better than good enough. Life is so short, you will lose it all in the end anyway.
But there are slices and slivers of the perfect all around you. Bits and pieces that are easy to miss and hard to capture if you are striving hard and trying to find it whole. The closest you and I will come to finding paradise on this earth, is if we fill our lives with seeking, chasing after, and capturing--if only for a fleeting moment--these "butterflies of paradise", these little moments of wonder and mystery and beauty and awe.
Once you come to the end, flat on your back, with no one to help you get up anymore, you can close your eyes and remember--remember the "eternal summer" that you experienced one fleeting moment at a time over the course of your 85 or 90 years. And it will flow like a river, like it was all there ever was. Then it will have been worth it, and it will be enough. It will be okay then, to get up and step through that portal on the other side of the "long valley", and into eternity.
posted by Desert Cat @ 2:05 PM | permalink
All original material and original images are copyright (c) 2003-2012, desertcat.blogspot.com, unless otherwise noted. All rights reserved.
FAIR USE NOTICE: This site may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not been pre-authorized by the copyright owner. Such material is made available to advance understanding of political, economic, scientific, social, art, media, and cultural issues. The 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material that may exist on this site is provided for under U.S. Copyright Law. In accordance with U.S. Code Title 17, Section 107, material on this site is distributed without profit to persons interested in such information for research and educational purposes. If you want to use any copyrighted material that may exist on this site for purposes that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
Disclaimer: Any stories, accounts of events or statements of fact herein, may be a fictionalized account of actual events or be entirely fictional. Nothing written herein is intended to be interpreted as factual or true. "Desert Cat", "Daisycat", "Momcat", and "Dadcat" are fictitious names and fictional characters and may not bear any resemblance to real persons. The use of these names is copyrighted (c) 2003-2011, desertcat.blogspot.com, and all rights are reserved.
LEGAL DISCLAIMER: You are responsible for your own life. All data and information provided on this site is For Informational Purposes Only. The owner of this weblog make no representations as to the accuracy, completeness, suitability or the validity of any information on this site. The owner of this weblog will not be liable for any errors, omissions or delays in this information; nor for any losses, injuries or damages arising from its display or use. All information provided is OPINION, and is to be used at you own risk.
COMMENT POLICY: All comments left on this weblog become the property of the blog proprietor and are subject to editing or deletion. This blog has a zero tolerance policy for comment spam. All efforts in all forms to utilize the comment section for SEO or commercial promotion purposes will be expunged and contact information will be blacklisted with Disqus. Comments that exceed stupidity limits (arbitrarily defined in the sole determination of the blog proprietor) shall be subject to editing or deletion at the sole discretion of the blog proprietor. This is not a free speech zone. If you object to any portion of this policy, your only recourse is to refrain from commenting.