aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Tuesday, May 31, 2005
Fox News admits bias
No fair-minded person actually believes that Fox News is unbiased, so pretending that it is calls for steely corporate resolve. On occasion, this vigilance pays off. Last year, for example, the Wall Street Journal actually ran a correction after its news pages described Fox News, accurately, as “a network sympathetic to the Bush cause and popular with Republicans.” Getting one of this country’s most prestigious newspapers to state that up is down and black is white is no small public-relations victory, and if we can’t admire Fox News’ candor, we can at least marvel at its ability to remain on message. Or rather, we could admire it, before [Fox News’ London bureau chief] Scott Norvell went and shot his big mouth off.
Here’s the quote:
Even we at Fox News manage to get some lefties on the air occasionally, and often let them finish their sentences before we club them to death and feed the scraps to Karl Rove and Bill O’Reilly.
It was published in the Wall Street Journal’s European edition on May 20. That was 5 days before the Fox Freudian slip in which Fox News anchor David Asman asked Sen. Trent Lott’s (R-MS) “if we should have done it and if we had the votes to do it” why comprimise?
These guys are drunk with success, so much so that they get careless and the truth comes out.
Buy a Jag…
...or a Land Rover and Ford will donate $1,000 to the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.
“From redefining family to include homosexual marriage, to giving hundreds of thousands of dollars to support homosexual groups and their agenda, to forcing managers to attend diversity training on how to promote the acceptance of homosexuality… Ford leads the way,” American Family Association chairman Donald Wildmon said in a statement…
Tupelo, Miss.-based AFA said it e-mailed an announcement about the Ford boycott to 2.2 million supporters. AFA special projects director Randy Sharp said nearly 55,000 people had signed a pledge supporting the boycott by Tuesday afternoon.
I can only hope it’s as successful as their 9 year Disney boycott ended last week:
The AFA launched its boycott nine years ago, insisting that Disney ban “Gay Day” events at the company’s theme parks, stop providing benefits to domestic partners of gay employees, and create an advisory panel of evangelical Christians to make sure Disney was making the religious right happy.
In response, Disney ignored the AFA and Michael Eisner refused to even speak to the group’s representatives. None of the group’s demands have been met.
Gay Days at Disney has its 15th Anniversary event this weekend (we went last year and my 1999 photos are somehow on their website), and Orlando was recently written up in the Times as a gay destination. With that kind of success, maybe there’s a Ford in your future.
Check it out Brew
David Pescovitz at Boing Boing points to the tale of the Billboard Liberation Front attack on a billboard in San Francisco across from Golden Gate Park near Haight Street:
This billboard modification was above and beyond what is typical for the BLF and included an animatronic Ronald McDonald force feeding a hamburger to an obese child, with a backdrop covering the billboard which consisted of well-fed Ronald McDonald and alien figures.
Global capitalism has produced hundreds of millions of bored office workers who sit in front of computers forwarding emails and surfing the web, inadvertently creating the Bored at Work Network (BWN). The BWN has become the largest alternative to the corporate media. Activists, artists, and hackers can reach millions of people through the BWN.
Solo and in collaborative groups, I create content for the BWN, including email forwards, net art, joke web sites, phone lines, and weblogs. These viral projects are examples of what I call “Contagious Media” and this site documents four examples that have reached millions of people: the Nike email, the Rejection Line, Black People Love Us, and Fundrace.org.
These experiments illustrate the practical application of concepts like emergence, 6-degrees of separation, and tipping points. The work starts small and spreads virally to millions of people without any promotions, advertisements, or press releases. In the end, the mass media picks up the story as a trend, and the work is able to permeate the culture at multiple levels.
This low-budget, bottom-up approach makes it possible to create a global cascade that begins with a small group of friends and extends to the set of CNN or the Today Show. These Contagious Media Experiments suggest new opportunities for artists and activists in the networked age.
Monday, May 30, 2005
Gay marriage strengthens all marriage
Jonathan Rauch in The New Republic (subscription only, see extended entry for extended excerpts):
Advocates who say that gay marriage is just a matter of civil rights are wrong. It certainly is a civil rights issue, just as it is a moral issue; but it is not only a civil rights or moral issue. It is also a family policy issue--the most important family policy issue now facing the country. Gay marriage is not a civil right worth having if it will wreck straight marriage or leave millions of children bereft. But it won’t. In fact, gay marriage’s denial, not its recognition, poses the greater risk to American kids.
This is the argument that I want gay advocacy groups to make, and I think all Americans should understand:
Getting people to marry is hard. Just having sex is more fun. Just shacking up, as it was once called, is easier. Marriage is under threat, all right. The threat, however, comes not from gay couples who want to get married but from straight couples who either do not get married or do not stay married. A third of American children are born to unmarried parents. The divorce rate has doubled since 1960, and the marriage rate fell 40 percent from 1970 to 2000. Cohabitation rose 72 percent in the 1990s. Twenty-eight percent of young couples aged 18-29 are unmarried. “The future of marriage may depend,” as an analysis of that last figure by the Gallup Organization remarks, “on whether young people simply delay marriage or sidestep it altogether.” Society generally and children especially have an interest in encouraging these couples to get and stay married.
One way to do that is to signal, legally and culturally, that marriage is not just one of many interchangeable “lifestyles,” but the gold standard for committed relationships. For generations, both law and culture signaled that marriage is the ultimate commitment, uniquely binding and uniquely honored; that everyone could and should aspire to marry; and that marriage is especially important for couples with children. Same-sex marriage may be the first opportunity the country has had in decades to climb back up the slippery slope and say, quite dramatically, that marriage--not co-habitation, not partnership, not civil union, but marriage--is society’s first choice. An American gay couple in their eighties got married in Canada in 2003 after 58 years together. Asked why they bothered, one of them replied, “The maximum is getting married.” That is a good pro-marriage signal to send.
Emphasis mine. Rauch goes on to explain how banning gay marriage will weaken the institution of marriage.
“Creationism’s Trojan Horse”
Guest post by Jen.
The line between religion and science continues to fade.
Intelligent design advocates want to split open the public’s understanding of science and convince people that you can call on the supernatural for a scientific explanation
says Barbara Forrest, co-author of “Creationism’s Trojan Horse: The Wedge of Intelligent Design”.
The official scientific community is up in arms (well, maybe not the Smithsonian), and (according to the article),
many theologians are equally upset by intelligent design.
Education could be the solution. In a sidebar, the article notes that
Support for Darwin increases with level of education.
postgraduate education = 65% support, college graduate = 52% support, some college education = 32% support, high school or less = 20% support
But IDEA clubs, supporting the concept of Intelligent Design, are springing up all over college campuses in the U.S. and elsewhere (20 clubs, to date). Let’s hope our students are too apathetic to start one.
Sunday, May 29, 2005
Sins of Scripture
Guest post by Jen.
What’s intriguing about retired Episcopal Bishop John Shelby Spong‘s new book “The Sins of Scripture: Exposing the Bible’s Texts of Hate To Reveal the God of Love” is the praise it has received from conservatives. Bill O’Reilly, undoubtedly to the right of center, says,
The Sins of Scripture’ challenges Christians to look beyond
the myths of their faith into the heart of the matter
his heretical beliefs about scripture preclude any claim to authority on the matter of resurrection, let alone any claim to being a Christian.
Countless others concur. I haven’t read this book yet but would love to hear others’ ideas about it.
Saturday, May 28, 2005
Dollars devastate diversity
Guest post by Jen.
Do billions botch biodiversity?
A letter in this week’s journal Science (written by the president of the Center for the Advancement of a Steady State Economy, and others) draws an explicit correlation between rising GDP and falling biodiversity (R = 0.99 in the U.S., for you statistics fans). CASSE has already told us that
What has become, slowly but surely, a primary threat to our national security, the environment, and future generations? Economic growth,
our highest domestic priority! Yet our students and citizens are continually told that economic growth is the key to our national security and environmental protection...in defiance of ecological principles and basic physics!
Now CASSE’s data rich article reaches out to the world’s academic sector, reminding us that
a higher GDP cannot resurrect an extinct species.
Off to the mountains, but when I’m back…
I have been hammered these past 2 weeks. I’ve been traveling, had a bunch of medical appointments and work is busier than ever, so tending to my blogging has been tough. Today I’m heading to the North Georgia mountains for a few days of R&R (reading and relaxation) in a cabin--a cabin with no phone.
So, for the first time since I started blogging some 6 months ago, I will go a day without posting. My guest poster Jen will be posting as usual, so there will be fresh content here.
The speech is the equivalent of a college course in media criticism. It is an important statement from a man who was there for the birth of public broadcasting. It cries out for broad public attention and debate. And when I return, I will have an extensive post with my reaction to it. (And for the Hillary haters among us, another Hillary post too).
The fight we’re in today
I want to tell you about another fight we’re in today. The story I’ve come to share with you goes to the core of our belief that the quality of democracy and the quality of journalism are deeply entwined. I can tell this story because I’ve been living it. It’s been in the news this week, including reports of more attacks on a single journalist—yours truly—by the right-wing media and their allies at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
As some of you know, CPB was established almost 40 years ago to set broad policy for public broadcasting and to be a firewall between political influence and program content. What some on this board are now doing today—led by its chairman, Kenneth Tomlinson—is too important, too disturbing and yes, even too dangerous for a gathering like this not to address.
We’re seeing unfold a contemporary example of the age-old ambition of power and ideology to squelch and punish journalists who tell the stories that make princes and priests uncomfortable.
Let me assure you that I take in stride attacks by the radical right-wingers who have not given up demonizing me although I retired over six months ago. They’ve been after me for years now, and I suspect they will be stomping on my grave to make sure I don’t come back from the dead.
I should remind them, however, that one of our boys pulled it off some 2,000 years ago—after the Pharisees, Sadducees and Caesar’s surrogates thought they had shut him up for good. Of course I won’t be expecting that kind of miracle, but I should put my detractors on notice: They might just compel me out of the rocking chair and back into the anchor chair.
Moyers: Why I’m in hot water
One reason I’m in hot water is because my colleagues and I at NOW didn’t play by the conventional rules of Beltway journalism. Those rules divide the world into Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives, and allow journalists to pretend they have done their job if, instead of reporting the truth behind the news, they merely give each side an opportunity to spin the news.
Jonathan Mermin writes about this in a recent essay in World Policy Journal. (You’ll also want to read his book Debating War and Peace, Media Coverage of U.S. Intervention in the Post-Vietnam Era.)
Mermin quotes David Ignatius of The Washington Post on why the deep interests of the American public are so poorly served by Beltway journalism. The “rules of our game,” says Ignatius, “make it hard for us to tee up an issue ... without a news peg.” He offers a case in point: the debacle of America’s occupation of Iraq. “If senator so and so hasn’t criticized postwar planning for Iraq,” says Ignatius, “then it’s hard for a reporter to write a story about that.”
Mermin also quotes public television’s Jim Lehrer acknowledging that unless an official says something is so, it isn’t news. Why were journalists not discussing the occupation of Iraq? Because, says Lehrer, “the word occupation ... was never mentioned in the run-up to the war.” Washington talked about the invasion as “a war of liberation, not a war of occupation, so as a consequence, “those of us in journalism never even looked at the issue of occupation.”
“In other words,” says Jonathan Mermin, “if the government isn’t talking about it, we don’t report it.” He concludes: “[Lehrer’s] somewhat jarring declaration, one of many recent admissions by journalists that their reporting failed to prepare the public for the calamitous occupation that has followed the ‘liberation’ of Iraq, reveals just how far the actual practice of American journalism has deviated from the First Amendment ideal of a press that is independent of the government.”
Who’s on PBS?
I had been deeply impressed by studies published in leading peer-reviewed scholarly journals by a team of researchers led by Vassar College sociologist William Hoynes. Extensive research on the content of public television over a decade found that political discussions on our public affairs programs generally included a limited set of voices that offer a narrow range of perspectives on current issues and events.
Instead of far-ranging discussions and debates, the kind that might engage viewers as citizens, not simply as audiences, this research found that public affairs programs on PBS stations were populated by the standard set of elite news sources. Whether government officials and Washington journalists (talking about political strategy) or corporate sources (talking about stock prices or the economy from the investor’s viewpoint), public television, unfortunately, all too often was offering the same kind of discussions, and a similar brand of insider discourse, that is featured regularly on commercial television.
Who didn’t appear was also revealing. Hoynes and his team found that in contrast to the conservative mantra that public television routinely featured the voices of anti-establishment critics, “alternative perspectives were rare on public television and were effectively drowned out by the stream of government and corporate views that represented the vast majority of sources on our broadcasts.”
The so-called experts who got most of the face time came primarily from mainstream news organizations and Washington think tanks rather than diverse interests. Economic news, for example, was almost entirely refracted through the views of business people, investors and business journalists. Voices outside the corporate/Wall Street universe—nonprofessional workers, labor representatives, consumer advocates and the general public were rarely heard. In sum, these two studies concluded, the economic coverage was so narrow that the views and the activities of most citizens became irrelevant.
All this went against the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967 that created the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. I know. I was there. As a young policy assistant to President Johnson, I attended my first meeting to discuss the future of public broadcasting in 1964 in the office of the Commissioner of Education. I know firsthand that the Public Broadcasting Act was meant to provide an alternative to commercial television and to reflect the diversity of the American people.
Critics praise Now
The Los Angeles Times said, “NOW’s team of reporters has regularly put the rest of the media to shame, pursuing stories few others bother to touch.”
The Philadelphia Inquirer said our segments on the sciences, the arts, politics and the economy were “provocative public television at its best.”
The Austin American-Statesman called NOW, “the perfect antidote to today’s high pitched decibel level, a smart, calm, timely news program.”
Frazier Moore of the Associated Press said we were hard-edged when appropriate but never “Hardball.” “Don’t expect combat. Civility reigns.”
And the Baton Rouge Advocate said, “NOW invites viewers to consider the deeper implication of the daily headlines,” drawing on “a wide range of viewpoints which transcend the typical labels of the political left or right.”
Let me repeat that: NOW draws on “a wide range of viewpoints which transcend the typical labels of the political left or right.”
The Public Broadcasting Act of 1967 had been prophetic. Open public television to the American people—offer diverse interests, ideas and voices ... be fearless in your belief in democracy—and they will come.
Friday, May 27, 2005
Is the filibuster a conservative tool?
The filibuster is a profoundly conservative tool, which advances each of [Russell] Kirk’s goals. It slows change by allowing a resolute minority to delay—to stand athwart history shouting stop. It ensures that change is driven not “merely by temporary advantage or popularity” but by a substantial majority. Is it any wonder that it has usually been liberals who want to change or abolish the filibuster rule?
Via James Joyner, who comments:
It seems to me that the proper means of keeping the likes of Margaret Marshall off the bench is to avoid electing the likes of Hillary Clinton president or, failing that, not doing it simultaneous with a Democratic majority in the Senate. If the American people make those decisions in tandem, then having a qualified leftist or two appointed to the Supreme Court is proper punishment, indeed.
Now Nathan would definitely agree with that.
Thursday, May 26, 2005
Say thank you, buy Kraft
Kraft is contributing the 2006 Gay Games in Chicago. AZnomad at DailyKos quotes an email to employees from Kraft Foods EVP Marc Firestone:
The true test of any commitment is how you respond when challenged. Kraft is experiencing this to a degree right now, as a result of our decision to be one of several contributors to the 2006 Gay Games in Chicago. The games will bring together thousands of athletes in a competition that will take place in our corporate hometown.
In recent days, the company has received many e-mails, the majority of them generated through the America Family Association, which objects to our sponsorship. We also have received calls and e-mails - - not as many, but equally passionate - - thanking us for supporting this event. A member of Chicago Mayor Richard Daley’s team said, “We applaud the businesses that are sponsors of the Gay Games, including Kraft Foods.”
John at AMERICAblog:
Call Kraft and thank them for doing the right thing: 1-800-323-0768. Ok, everyone, go out and buy some Kraft Macaroni & Cheese, NOW.
Howard Dean’s comment Sunday seemed reasonable enough to me:
I don’t know anybody who thinks abortion is a good thing. I don’t know anybody in either party who is pro-abortion. The issue is not whether we think abortion is a good thing. The issue is whether a woman has a right to make up her own mind about her health care.
One reason progressives are not as strong on the abortion issue is that we so rarely hear abortion defended on its merits. Instead, we have the religious right denouncing it as the equivalent of murder and slavery, and progressives essentially saying “that may be, but it’s really none of your business if people are committing murder and slavery, now is it?”
If that’s the debate, it would be no surprise that the rightwing would win over time.
Nathan Newman regularly has this effect on me. I think I’m going to disagree but his arguments win me over:
Back in 1968, only 15% of the population supported liberalizing abortion laws. By 1972, 64% supported increased access to abortion for women.
This change didn’t happen because of “anti-busybody” arguments but because feminists of both sexes stood up and declared that abortion—however sad an option when used—was necessary to improve the quality of life and equality of women in our society...Another part of the pro-abortion rhetoric was the slogan “every child a wanted child”, acknowledging the fact that great harm is done when parents raise children they don’t want, often because they know the stresses of their life make raising children untenable.
Pro-choice progressives should be embracing Steve Levitt’s arguments in his Freakonomics book that legalization of abortion led to drops in crime rates a generation later, since this reflects the fact that wanted children are less likely to be abused and less likely to end up as criminals when they grow up...Most abortion rights activists have not been libertarians who thought individual choices have no effect on broader society, but people who thought the availability of abortion causes profound and needed changes in that broader society: increasing women’s ability to participate equally in the workplace, changing power relations between men and women within the family, and encouraging family planning so that children were wanted and not abused.
Nathan was responding to this post by Kevin Drum:
Dean is right: if we make abortion and related cultural hot buttons into “anti-busybody” issues, they’re a lot more appealing to a lot more people.
Kevin answers Nathan today:
I still think that Howard Dean’s “anti-busybody” approach to the issue is a good one for a couple of reasons. First, not everyone agrees with me that abortion is morally neutral, but they might nonetheless agree that basic considerations of privacy and personal choice mean that people should be allowed to make their own moral choices in this matter without government interference. Second, it provides an appealing umbrella approach to a lot of social issues, which I think is better than having a hodgepodge of rationales aimed at a bunch of unrelated special interests.
On balance, I’m leaning toward Nathan. I want affirmative reasoned liberal arguments that directly address the other side.
For federal scientists, it’s 1984
Guest post by Jen.
War is peace, black is white, wild and zoo-raised organisms are equivalent. The New York Times tells us about the growing gap between government policy and scientific facts.
The southwestern regional director of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service has instructed members of his staff to limit their use of the latest scientific studies on the genetics of endangered plants and animals when deciding how best to preserve and recover them.
PEER (Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility) Program Director Rebecca Roose said
Telling biologists not to consider genetic factors is like telling engineers they cannot use mathematics.
Technology’s not the answer
Medical errors kill nearly 100,000 American each year, with lethal drug interactions accounting for most of these deaths. Computerization—which hospitals have been slow to embrace—was supposed to eliminate most problems, but new research published Wednesday indicates that even the best computer system can’t save you from a doctor’s catastrophic screw-up.
Harmful medication-related mishaps cropped up in a quarter of all patients at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Salt Lake City, one of the most high-tech hospitals in the country, according to a study published in Archives of Internal Medicine...Even though the hospital’s computers were supposed to protect against dangerous drug interactions, illegible prescriptions and bedside mix-ups, nine of the 937 patients studied died as a result of medication problems, the study found.
So does the solution have anything to do with training health professionals? They don’t think so:
The challenge instead, medical specialists say, is making the technology assist doctors in more ways than just sounding an alarm when penicillin is ordered for someone who’s allergic to it.
What if an unintended consequence is that doctors get sloppier because they assume the technology will catch their errors?
Wednesday, May 25, 2005
For me, the issue is time. In New York I spent more time waiting--waiting for and riding the train, waiting in line, waiting for everything. In that time I’d read magazines and books.
Here I seldom wait; but I do spend more time in the car. The audio book is my friend. And I am not alone:
Fewer Americans are reading books than a decade ago, according to the National Endowment for the Arts, but almost a third more are listening to them on tapes, CD’s and iPods.
For a growing group of devoted listeners, the popularity of audio books is redefining the notion of reading, which for centuries has been centered on the written word. Traditionally, it is also an activity that has required one’s full attention.
But audio books, once seen as a kind of oral CliffsNotes for reading lightweights, have seduced members of a literate but busy crowd by allowing them to read while doing something else.
I’d like an option to have (and in a few instances have bought) both, because I want to refer back to the text as a reference, more difficult to do with audio books. I’ve taken to writing down or remembering specific quotes so that I can use the search inside feature on Amazon to find the citation I’m looking for.
Among the questions facing audio book connoisseurs are: Which is better suited to the format, fiction or nonfiction? Can a bad narrator ruin a great book? If you’ve listened to a book, have you really “read” it?
I read noon-fiction but my guess is fiction is better, fewer lists of statistics and figures. Yes, a bad narrator ruins a good book, and yes, if you listen you’ve read it. How many buyers have bound books on coffee table display then shelved without ever reading it? My experience hints at many.
Audio book aficionados face disdain from some book lovers, who tend to rhapsodize about the smell and feel of a book in their hands and the pleasure of being immersed in a story without having to worry about the car in the next lane.
The smell and feel arguments were once used (by me!) about reading online too.
I’m disappointed with the selection and speed of availability, both of which will improve (and in the meantime, ITConversations fills the gap). But I will be taking advantage of this audible.com special offer.
I was wonderfully impressed by my doctor and the Macon Medical Center staff. Everything was as they said: I remember not a thing past the Demerol; the hard part’s the prep. And the prep was both better and worse than expected. Better because I didn’t have to drink the gallons of gunk, instead a glass last night and another this morning. Bad but not that bad.
Worse because this morning, when I had planned to dash off a quick post saying what’s up, I was instead wracked with migraine and heaving on the bathroom floor. Now that was bad.
But all’s well that ends well. It’s a beautiful day in Georgia. Burgers on the grill and a birthday party tonight. Next time I’ll prepare my morning post in advance.
Tuesday, May 24, 2005
Viagra & Sex Offenders
Personally, I don’t think Medicare should pay for Viagra. I’ve said before that it looks like a sop to the pharmaceutical industry to me. There are limits to what Medicare can do; one place to start limiting is “lifestyle” drugs.
But so long as we’re paying for them, Lindsay’s talking sense:
Medicaid covers Viagra for anyone for whom it is medically indicated. You don’t have to undergo a criminal record check to get any other kind of medical treatment. Pickpockets can be treated for carpal tunnel, peeping toms for ADD, and embezzelers for dyslexia--and that’s exactly how it should be.
It’s unnerving to see moral busybodies demanding a closer mesh between health care and the law. Medicaid is not an arm of the parole system. Prescriptions shouldn’t be rationed in the name of social engineering. It sounds as if Health and Human Services might even revoke Viagra coverage for sex offenders who have already served their time. This is unconscionable. It’s not up to HHS to heap extrajudicial punishments on people who’ve already paid their debt to society.
Some * believe * a sex offender can never pay his “debt to society.” * That aside, I too am unnerved by the mixing of health care and the law, and agree that “the sex offender issue is a total red herring:”
The unsubstantiated implication is that Viagra is facilitating rapes. That might be true, but then again, so might angina medication, antibiotics, or any other medical treatment for a sex offender who would otherwise be out of commission.
Unfortunately, Kevin is also right:
Don’t you just hate this stuff? Lindsay is plainly right on the merits, but once again conservatives have managed to dredge up a bizarre non-issue designed to make anyone with any sense look like a moral pervert. You either vote to ban Viagra for these people or else you’re aiding and abetting child abuse. And there isn’t a local news station in the country that can resist running with this story.
Ban straight marriage
Amanda at Pandagon finds a UK Independent story that reports, “Research will this week say that the more committed and successful a woman is at work, the worse her partner feels” and can think of only one possible solution:
we must ban straight marriage immediately. It’s a lose-lose proposition--it’s making men sick and taking women’s freedom. The argument against opposite-sex marriages is clearly stronger than against same-sex marriages. After all, when it’s two men or two women getting married, it’s sort of hard to figure out which one is obligated to give up their life outside and which one is entitled to domestic service.
Norah & Peanuts
Yet another occasion to call attention to Malcolm Gladwell’s Something Borrowed. Please read that article.
From Xeni at Boing Boing:
Mark Ebner at Hollywood Interrupted asks, “Was a Norah Jones hit ripped from Charlie Brown theme music? You decide… This video file offers a side-by-side comparison of Don’t Know Why and Christmas Time is Here. Do Norah and her hit songwriter owe Vince Guaraldi royalties?”
...these patterns of influence--cribbing, tweaking, transforming--were at the very heart of the creative process. True, copying could go too far. There were times when one artist was simply replicating the work of another, and to let that pass inhibited true creativity. But it was equally dangerous to be overly vigilant in policing creative expression…
This era we’re living in--of patenting ideas, trademarking phrases and copyrighting everything--has gone way past protecting a creator’s work. Instead we’re stifling creativity in the interest of corporate commerce.
Brew on Bush on life
Brew points to the president the other day:
“I made it very clear to the Congress that the use of federal money, taxpayers’ money to promote science which destroys life in order to save life is - I’m against that. And therefore, if the bill does that, I will veto it.’”
Apparently our President’s thoughs on the preservation of human life...apply only to that nasty-nasty we liberals call “science,” because he’s made it absolutely clear that he has no problem with destroying lives to “save lives” - especially if those who’s lives he destroys don’t worship his god, or don’t look like him.
I thought it was noteworthy then, but today Brew’s back at it:
The House has voted to pass the stem cell bill, which will ease White House restrictions on embryonic stem cell research. President Bush, who apparently flunked every science class he ever took, has promised to veto any bill which he thinks destroys life - unless of course it involves spending $80 billion to destroy a third world country.