Friday, October 10, 2008

Sarah Palin's "Radical Right-Wing" Mentors

This Salon article is fascinating but the use of "radical right-wing" twice in the article and once in the title is self-defeating. It's trendy these days to be as hyperbolic as possible and perhaps it helps attract attention but the article makes clear that the gentlemen at the heart of the story are indeed "radical right-wing"ers. Further, while the use of the term may serve to compel individuals predisposed to dislike Palin to read it it compels others to simply dismiss it as part of the "liberal mainstream media"s agenda.

As a journalism school graduate who has personally witnessed the liberal bias among many of those who aspire to work in media, I'm always shocked at the excesses of supposed responsible, objective journalism. Journalists who have strong political opinions should recognize that they needn't radicalize their stories with unnecessary language. If the story alone doesn't prove their point then they either need to re-examine their beliefs or realize that the story isn't worthy of publication. If it does reinforce their beliefs then they should let the reader come to it on their own. Otherwise the reader already shares that believe or has stopped reading before they get to the nut of the story.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

5 AM

I'm up and drunk, some thoughts:

Sarah Palin's run for the Vice Presidency has upset me to the point that I'm truly concerned for the future of this country.  Anyone of even moderate intellect should be able to ascertain that this woman has no business running this country.  This is not a matter of politics, this is a matter of competency and frankly she is devoid of competency.  She was a tape recorder in the debates and the idea that a debater can legitimately state that they are not going to respond to the moderator's questions is beyond is preposterous.  

Also note cards should not be allowed in debates.  They're counter intuitive to the concept and antithetical to the purpose.  

I'm watching a program called Lockup: Pendleton, its part of the Lockup series about prison life on MSNBC that I've really enjoyed.  This program is specifically devoted to a military integration unit that is particularly interesting.  Of note - and not addressed in the program - is the racial divide in the unit.  This website puts Pendleton's racial breakdown at 54/41 white/black but the military unit seems overwhelmingly white.  The show has just reached it's completion and both of the new recruits that they selected were black.  They only placed two individuals in the program when they could have placed three so it can be assumed that they were the best candidates but I wonder if affirmative action plays in the selection process.  As said it doesn't seem so but I am unaware of the legal requirements therein (and curious if they are required to abide by affirmative action requirements - as they certainly don't seem to be fulfilling them of yet).

This program is wildly conflicting to me.  On one side I think the purpose of prison is correctional and redemptive but at the same time its unfortunate to consider that a part of our (The United States) military is made up of ex-cons.  There's a perception in the States that northeast citizens perceive the military with condensation, this perception holds a certain degree of weight, unfortunately, but that is because many of the individuals who choose to go into the military in the northeast are indeed criminals or at least miscreants.  When I was in high school I was asked to take a piss for a friend who was in AA because he was forced to go there (essentially) for stupidity, to this day I like the kid but he's now a representative of our nation's military.  The reason I mention this is that for better or worse (and certainly more for the worse) the perception of the military in the northeast is generally that of thugs and individuals who don't deserve to represent us in international circumstances.

Perhaps I thinking too much of it, and I'm willing to admit that may be the case, but it's wildly disheartening that a man of the quality of David Foster Wallace committed suicide.  I've never met him and maybe I'm over sentimental of an author who was one of the best of our generation but if he's committing suicide we must be heading in the wrong direction.

We should be fostering minds like those not allowing for their demise. 

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Lone Drinker: Vice Presidential Debate Edition

Sarah Palin is the culmination of everything there is to love about American politics. As the country has fallen deeper and deeper into the abyss I've learned to stop worrying and love the con. There's little doubt in my mind that a McCain/Palin administration would be bad for the country but at this point I'm almost rooting for them to win as it would certainly be America's greatest reality show.

Tonight's debate should be gangbusters and as such I thought a Lone Drinker was in order. Accompanied only by a magnum of La Monica Montepulciano, my computer, dog and television, I will attempt to discern what kills the most brain cells: the wine or listening to Sarah Palin and Joe Biden. 100 dead brain cells for each glass of wine, 100 for each dumb thing Palin says and 200 for each dumb thing Biden says (the glass ceiling still exists in this game).

8:18: Peggy Noonan is on the Daily Show, she's graceful and genuine. I used to think that was absolutely true but this video has completely blurred my understanding of her. It seems like everyone in the public limelight is filled with bullshit up to their talking heads. Glass one.

8:29: Just saw a commercial for the new Edward Norton vehicle (I've been watching Entourage lately) Pride and Glory, looks pretty good or perhaps terrible, can't tell.

8:54: Just had a pre-debate smoke to settle my nerves, I'm so excited I can barely control myself. On glass three.

8:57: I'm watching the debate on PBS. I like to support PBS by watching it even though the numbers mean nothing to their bottom line, 100 dead brain cells for my own stupidity. Also I must mention I ran 7.5 miles today so my extremities aren't working very well, this could come into play in later updates.

9:00: Gwen Ifill's moderating which pisses me off. She has a book coming out about the rise of Black politicians in America set to come out on inauguration day. I generally like Ifill but she has a financial interest in Obama winning and regardless of her bias or lack there of, the appearance of impropriety will give the 'pubs an out if Palin bombs.

9:03: Palin looks hot, Biden just coughed before the first question, this is gonna be great!

9:04: Biden blames deregulation for the failure of Wall St. Delaware has some of the most lax tax laws in the country hence the multitude of corporations who have their headquarters there. Biden 200 brain cells.

9:05: Palin comes out storming with "talk with a parent at their kids soccer game" in distress over the economy. She's been heavily prepped and is showing it, 100 brain cells.

9:09: I hate this maverick shit, Ifill properly calls Biden and Palin on not answering the question posed to them.

9:10: "Hockey mom's, Joe Six Pack," she's a fucking tape recorder, 200 brain cells.

9:13: That's the second time Palin has waved while talking about average or middle American families, that's preposterous, 300 brain cells.

9:14: "I may not answer the questions that you or the moderator want to hear," Jesus, 400 brain cells.

9:17: She waved again, what the fuck? Fuck it, people are probably eating this shit up.

9:20: Palin's waved 3 times but Biden's now pointed at us twice, um who the hell preps these idiots.

9:22: "We cannot slow up on education," good work Joe, 400 brain cells. I'm gonna have to start drinking faster if I want to keep up.

9:26: Opposing windfall profits tax isn't the same as giving a tax cut, sorry Joe, 600 brain cells.

9:27: Palin is butchering a question that I don't even know what it was, she got off topic somehow, yikes, 500 brain cells. Glass five.

9:28: Biden might have just done something genius. Um, no, he tried to and the idea was genius, he brought up the idea of allowing home owners to stay in their homes and adjusting not just their interest but the principle they owe - not sure if I agree with that policy but what he did was say that he's not sure if McCain or Palin agree with that, Ifill then tried to press Palin but she slipped out of it. To any discerning viewer she's essentially reading note cards to most people she's probably nailing it.

9:33: Biden's stumbling over his words like the drunk I suspect he is. Normally I wouldn't hammer a guy for that, considering this post and many like it before is dedicated to real time alcohol consumption, but he is in the midst of a Veep debate, put down the Jameson Biden.

9:35: "Nucular" holy shit, not again. Palin, 600 brain cells.

9:36: Watching Palin write notes is hysterical. If she's talking from her own notes my dog is multilingual.

9:39: Palin is definitely scoring points with the Iraq talk. No doubt they're not her points but points non the less. Unless of course she's spent the last month thinking about Iraq exclusively after she said she hadn't thought about it, and somehow acquired the ability of analytical thinking.

9:42: How are we spending 10 billion dollars a month in Iraq when they have an 87 billion dollar surplus. Why isn't the new government of Iraq paying for our troops? We put them there for fucks sake.

9:44: Biden pointed at me again, I'd like to brake his finger. I've said this before but he reminds me of the creepy uncle at family reunions who's a little to interested in your female cousins.

9:45: Ifill's doing a great job btw.

9:47: "Nucular" twice, this word is not that fucking hard to pronounce. 800 dead brain cells that feel like victims of rape and incest.

9:52: Joe Biden just referred to himself in the third person, 800 dead brain cells, this is turning out to be quite a match. Glass six.

9:56: Is it supposed to be cool and "American" to say nuclear wrong? What the fuck is going on, why has this country become so retarded?

10:00: Biden just audibly sighed, that's a huge mistake. 1,000 dead brain cells.

10:03: "It's so obvious I'm a Washington outsider," I was a bigger fan when she was her own retard. Glass seven, I want a cigarette, I can't keep up with these morons.

10:08: How would your presidential policy differ from the president's if they were to pass away: "I would carry out Barack's policies" good work again Joe. You're the same exact person, that's bold.

10:09: Fuck the brain cells idea, we're all dumber for this despite of our alcohol consumption. If a student were to respond to any of these questions from a teacher they'd be lampooned. Please vote for Bob Barr, the politics of this country are fucked and it doesn't really matter who's doing the fucking.

10:12: Honestly Sarah Palin has been willing to completely fore go her own opinions in order to accept the Vice Presidential opportunity. She's hasn't expressed a single opinion that she had discussed in interviews prior to this debate. I really hate everyone involved in this campaign but she seems particularly deplorable.

10:16: They shouldn't allow talking points in presidential or veep debates. If candidates want to take notes that's fine but they shouldn't be allowed to bring anything along. If they need anything then whomever writes it should be the candidate not the individual.

10:21: My interpretation of the republican advisers to Sarah Palin over the last 3 days: "Sarah, if you don't know what to say, bang out a couple "Mavericks" and "Ya'll's" "Change" and "average people".

10:23: Biden's pouncing on the Maverick thing, interesting, I wonder if this will play. Glass eight.

10:27: Honestly, I don't like Biden, he's a cheater, cheated in law school, plagiarized a speech while running for president but at least he's attempting to answer the questions posed to him. Palin's just regurgitating platitudes and reciting lines fed to her, I doubt she'll be in very many off the cuff interviews from here on out.

10:31: Biden's blathering on after Palin just blathered on, I'll be back after some reflection.