Friday, March 25, 2005

Terri Schiavo and the Matrix

Terri Schiavo: may her body rest in peace for her self is already gone. I was some what shocked and awed by the behavior of Congress and the President the weekend of March 18 when they had a special session to pass a bill for a federal judge to review the Schiavo case and the President made a point of returning to the White House to sign it. Why did they do this?

Was the religious right just trying to flex its muscle? Where the Republicans satisfying them on this because they could not satisfy them on their other wants? The Republicans owed them something; they put them in office. If this did not involve a family’s tragedy, it would be laughable. I was impressed with what the Republicans pulled off the weekend of March 18th, but I could not understand why.

And then it came to me: the Matrix. We thought a big complex computer was going to take over; some massive, self-sustaining artificial intelligence would eventually rule us all. But no, the takeover is the final solution of the massive right wing conspiracy. Imagine a large hospital like building but the only patients are thousands of brain dead people hooked up to machines that keep them alive – the pods would come later. A whole crop of Baby Boomers are reaching the age when they would be likely candidates for an eternity with a machine. That huge statistical anomaly ought to be swell the ranks of the pod people.

Of course, some would not be completely brain dead. Some people would be fully conscious but trapped in their body, unable to move, unable to turn off the machine, unable to do anything but stare at the ceiling – until the machine turned them to prevent bed sores – then they would stare at bed after bed of other people hooked up to a machine. Maybe the person next to them would be conscious but unable to move either. Periodically they could stare at each other. What would they think about? The dreams or thought exercise or mind world which was the Matrix would come later, also – that program is not ready—yet. Living wills and a meaningful natural life and death mean nothing when you are holier than Thou.

And when we are able to come up with a machine that will take an egg and sperm from conception through gestation to birth – thus no abortions either natural or planned – the cycle will be complete. Why wake them up? First you take the ones in a vegetative state and then you take the healthy ones. Keep them in an unconscious state to do the Lord’s work – in the Matrix.

Remember it was religious intolerance that crucified Jesus Christ. That’s a little fact the organized churches have shied away from. What was true then is still true today – after you’ve taken the Son of God what’s ruining the lives of the lesser of His children. And since the machines will be on the side of self righteous right, Neo will not be on the good guys’ side – in the Matrix. You’ve been cheering for the wrong side all this time. What do you say to that, Mister Anderson?

Sunday, March 13, 2005

The Post with the Most

Word search on famous blogs resulted in the following number of hits.

.....................Dan...James Guckert..Eason..Armstrong
....................Rather..Jeff Gannon..Jordan...Williams
Matthew Yglesias......34.........13........6.........17
Talking Point.........15..........5........0.........12
Washington Monthly...342.........93.......47.........49
Michelle Malkin.......76..........6.......66.........28
Power Line............88..........7.......38..........2
Sisyphean Musings......7..........0.......26..........2
Andrew Sullivan.......27..........0........2..........4
Jay Reding............25..........2........4..........0

As one would expect the conservative blogs had much to say about Dan Rather and Eason Jordan and little to say about Gannon/Guckert and Armstrong Williams. Conversely, one would expect the count would be generally opposite in the liberal blogs, however it was not. That’s so like the liberals. While there were significantly more post about incidents that would be critical of the Bush Administration than in the right wing blogs, many left wing blogs had significant entries about Dan Rather and Eason Jordan. Dan Rather was mentioned the most of the four names in the left wing blogs, except at DailyKos where Gannon/Guckert got mentioned over 15,000 times. DailyKos had more posts on all subjects than any other blog. They are in a class by themselves.

Why did I do this? I remember a story about MSM and how a MSM considered liberal would be more likely to report critically on Bill Clinton than a MSM considered conservative would report critically of George Bush. I wanted to see, if it was true of blogs. Of course this does not judge the merits of the posts – just the number of occurrences. You can not judge how someone feels about a news event if there is no post. Absents or low numbers do tell you something. While some right wing blogs will comment on events that could be bad for Bush, there is not a lot of meat to chew on. Left wing blogs could have been defending or justifying Dan Rather and Eason Jordan which is more than the right wing blogs did for Guckert/Gannon and Armstrong Williams. Then again maybe they were in agreement with the right wing blogs on Dan and Eason. The point is they were posting and commenting on all four names and the events that surrounded them which is more than the right wing blog were doing.

I was surprise to see that Instapundit out posted Power Line on Dan Rather – an incident that help get Power Line the Blog of the Year title. Maybe it’s the quality of the post. Anyway Instapundit is famous as a clearing house for information on what’s happening on other blogs. Many of the Instapundit’s posts are just a blurb and link and he moves on to another subject. The Blog of the Year may have had more depth in their post justifying their title and position in the Blogoshpere. The Blog of the Year did have slightly more post on Guckert/Gannon than the other right wing blogs, but was sorely lacking in the Armstrong Williams affair.

Dan Rather and Eason Jordan were in a much higher position than Guckert/Gannon or Armstrong Williams, and maybe their offense had more influence and thus was worse than being a ringer/plant in the White House press room or taking money from an office in the government on which you are commenting in your column. Which offense was the worst? By vote of what most blogs posted, it would have to be Dan Rather’s report on Bush’s National Guard service based on probably bogus memos. However, the offense that got the most post/votes would have to be Guckert/Gannon. Maybe if those others had just had a little sex thrown in, they would have gotten more votes – I mean posts.

I would think the Guckert/Gannon and Armstrong Williams stories would be more important to the right wing blogs, but the numbers would suggest otherwise. While it is true that these stories show the Bush administration in a bad light and conservatives generally as a rule don’t criticize other conservatives, these stories and others like them, taint all right wing blogs. How are we supposed to know which is getting paid and which isn’t? Which of those numbers up there are a reflection of the current government’s policy and influence and which are just somebody’s opinions?

Least variation among names by my reckoning is Eschaton. He/They had something to say about everybody. That blog’s tendency toward uniformity in posting on partisan subjects was followed by Matthew Yglesias and then Michelle Malkin. The blog with the highest variation among names was the Vodkapundit followed by Andrew Sullivan. They had something to say about one subject and little to say about any other. Vodakpundit is a site I visit regularly and I remember reading a post in which he said he had gotten burned on the Kerry intern story and generally refrained from posting on such subjects.

I would have done more sites, but Dan Rather’s last day as CBS anchor would lead to additional posts on his leaving, so I quit several days before his last day. I generally used Google and the following format as an example: “Dan Rather” site:[insert site name here]. In some instances, I used the site’s search engine. I don’t know if I was picking up hits in comments as well as post and this could affect the results since not all blogs mentioned allow comments. I realize that searching for James Guckert and Jeff Gannon got redundant hits and would inflate the numbers, but I did the same for all blogs. I did not look for Rathergate, memogate, Easongate or any “gate”. I did not look for last names only. I did not read the post to ascertain the political slant of the post or on which side of the issue the blogger stood. This post only looks at the number of posts as a proxy for involvement.

If you gotten this far and want to go further, I’ve updated Red Word / Blue Word with “The Democracy Spring in the Middle East” and “Privatization of Social Security”.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Who Gets Credit for What

Okay, how long before we hear: if the Syrians should pull out of Lebanon, shouldn’t the Americans pull out of Iraq? If everybody agrees that it’s good in one, why wouldn’t it be good in another? The clock is ticking; I’m waiting to hear it.

Of course the Bushies will have good reasons and I’ve no doubt that many of them are valid. If we pull out of Iraq right now, chaos would erupt. Anarchy would rein until the warlords and mullahs took control and understandings between the various factions developed. The Kurds would probably break away. No, like it or not, whether you were for or against it, we are in for the long haul. The Neocons have got us in another fine mess.

The Bushies are claiming credit for the democratic movements taking place all over the Mid East. First the election in Palestine and then the significant turn out in Iraq, Mubarak’s announcement of actual elections in Egypt, and the Saudis telling Syrian to leave Lebanon all seem to bode well for the Neocons’ strategy for the Middle East.

If the Clintonites can take credit for the economic boom of the nineties, then we have to let the Bushies take credit for democracy rising in the Middle East. Maybe this is a good cop/bad cop of historic events. After the run up to war in which the Bushies came to believe their own hype, and then a swift and stunning invasion and take over, followed by a totally bundled post war administration, and then a very successful election, we have to expect some bad time ahead as it’s the bad cop’s turn. Actually I think the Neocons get the blame for the fist and third and the military gets the credit for the second and the fourth. It’s who get what for what happens next that’s the issue. Maybe the new government in Iraq will ask us to leave. If this whole affair was orchestrated by Iran, that would leave them as the most influential power in Iraq.

They finally beat and removed Saddam and we did the heavy lifting for them. Their man (once the Neocons’ man), Chalabi seems to be on the rise again. He may have position in Iraq’s government. Did he mastermind the smack down of Saddam, or was he just an instrument of the Iranians? What ever happen to the investigations of his being a spy and having friends and contacts in the highest of places? How many Necons have deleted his name and emails from their files not realizing that servers are backed up every night?