28 April 2008

News Update

Howard Dean has announced that the Democratic Party has had enough of democracy and the contest between Clinton and Obama must end by June. Watch for Dean himself to let out a scream and take the nomination by force.

The Supreme Court has ruled that it is not discrimination to force voters to have a driver's license in order to vote. In fact, it is just a good way to make sure that people without the money, inclination, or a reason to drive don't influence elections.

Tony Scalia - the Supreme Court justice - says that torture is not cruel and unusual punishment because it is not punishment. For instance, if a policeman were to torture you, Scalia says "And you say he’s punishing you? What’s he punishing you for? … When he’s hurting you in order to get information from you, you wouldn’t say he’s punishing you. What is he punishing you for?" From now on, whenever I hear it referred to as the High Court, it'll have a different connotation.

McCain is claiming that Obama is insensitive to the poor because he wants to tax gasoline as a way to generate money to further research into alternative fuels. Today, regular gas hit $3.95 a gallon here in San Diego. McCain obviously doesn't realize that a gas tax would have little impact on people who can't afford to buy gas. And why the rush to create alternative fuels? If we could capture even 1% of 1% of the solar energy that strikes our planet, we'd have enough energy to replace all oil.

From what I can tell, the fact that blacks vent their anger and frustration in church is a story that could undermine Obama's support. The Reverend Wright continues to get more coverage than, yawn, health care, 100 year occupation of Iraq, or $4 a gallon for gas.

And speaking of irrelevant news coverage, last month was the warmest March on record, 3.2 degrees warmer than the average March in the 20th century. Meanwhile, Fox News, never one to give in to reality without a fight, is reporting that we're actually poised to plunge into an ice age.

There is a big brouhaha about the newest release of Grand Theft Auto. Like the earlier versions, it is violent, triggering concern among critics that this somehow degrades behavior. And nothing could be more obvious, really, than this: the history of mankind shows millennia of peace and prosperity and then, with the introduction of video games, a sudden spike in violence.

7 comments:

Suzanne said...

What I find interesting and disturbing is that by merely clicking from one channel to the next you can get incredibly different perspectives on this election...including who's ahead and who's behind.

I am concerned about the influence of the media in this election. As we face a recession, I'd like to hear more about how the next president is going to handle our problems rather than the bickering... and backstabbing.

Your thoughts?

Ron Davison said...

Suzanne,
I took "The Art of Racking Muck" when I was an undegrad. I remember one thing the prof told us (he went on to become the editor of Mother Jones): there is no such thing as objective journalism - only journalism with an objective. You owe it to your readers to let them know your objectives and biases and go from there. I think the matter of perspective and bickering are related. If you pretend that you are objective, you argue about reality. If you admit you have an objective, then you can get on with discussions about the reality you're trying to create. You still have a struggle - but it is the struggle over what kind of future to create. That, to me, seems more interesting and more promising.

ThomasLB said...

If you bump into Tony Scalia before I do, tell him "Torture is punishment for invoking your right not to incriminate yourself."

Gypsy at Heart said...

I heard Scalia on NPR yesterday. He comes across as so sane and reasonable. I actually thought this myself as I listened to him. The female reporter went on to characterize him as 'charming' in person. Do you think that before they were outed as utterly off their rockers people like Hitler for example, caused the same type of impressions?

Damon said...

heaven help us if we are now comparing antonin scalia to adolf hitler.

don't confuse a man with poor judgment with a man determined to exterminate an entire race of people.

Think what you want of politicians and judges, but don't let your frustrations lapse into absurdity.

Ron Davison said...

Thomas,
I'll tell Tony when I see him the next time I'm duck hunting with him and Cheney ("Duck! I'm hunting with Dick Cheney!")

Milena,
Hitler did seem to be well liked before he helped to turn Europe into rubble.

Damon,
so you are saying that there is no similarity between scalia and hitler because hitler was clear headed whereas scalia is confused?
(Wait. Maybe I'm confused.)

Damon said...

oh come on Ron. Tell me you aren't that absurd. Of course you can find similarities between any two people. I'm rather similar to Hitler myself actually! haha.

But in all sincerity, must we really compare a judge that you might disagree with to Adolf Hitler?

Puhleeze people. Honestly.

Wake up and smell reality!