8/28/2011

Sunday Morning Ruminations: Is Blogging Dead?

It's a Sunday morning here in Vegas. I'm drinking my coffee, going over the RSS and Twitter feeds and I'm wondering if blogging as we know it is dead. This isn't a big discovery, it's a topic that has been discussed by many bloggers and just as many have concluded that, yes, it's dead.

But by dead we don't mean no one is blogging any more, but rather that the medium and perhaps the message has changed (you win again McLuhan!).

Five years ago, you had all your favorite blogs bookmarked and you checked them regularly to see what was up and get commentary on the news of the day. Then RSS feeds came into their own and you got a RSS reader that updated you when there were new post on the blogs of your choosing. Then Twitter took off like a rocket and you started following the Twitter feeds of your favorite bloggers (and celebs, politicians, comedians, think tanks, Bigfoot, etc.). And if you're like me, before long you realize that you're spending less time blogging and more time reading Twitter and offering up 140 characters of insight rather than the several thousand you might normally serve up on your blog.

While cable and satellite TV providers refuse to offer up channel a la carte, the Internet is rather different. You set up your own viewing package. If you're like me (have I said that already? what a wordsmith) you're constantly working on your Twitter subscription list to get the perfect lineup. If a tweep is blathering too much or getting into Twitter fights with someone, you drop them. You try to keep your subscription number low so that you don't miss anything, but you also weed out those that don't Twitter enough...and on and on and on (and on?).

The point is, "blogging" is getting faster and smaller. It's hard to imagine in World War I, folks in the United States would have to wait a week before getting the latest information from the front. Then, when I was growing up, you'd get basic news 24 hours later in the newspaper, or if it was really big, on the TV news that night. Eventually, we got 24 hour cable news and the term "breaking" was ridden hard and hung up wet. Now, if I have to wait a nanosecond for an update on the latest story, I fly into an impatient rage.

Media theorist like the late Neil Postman would call this the end of humanity and something that needs to be stopped. I disagree. While there may be negative effects of high-speed media, progress simply cannot be stopped any more than you can stop the laws of physics. We're going to keep getting faster and faster until we either learn how to convert our very beings to pure energy or we destroy ourselves in some kind of cataclysmic war.

Heavy stuff for a Sunday morning.

Physicist Michio Kaku says someday the Internet will be available on a contact lens. Blink, and you have your Twitter feed. Another blink, Google search, and so on.

So is blogging dead? Not as such, it's just morphing into something else and will continue to do so until the "end."


8/24/2011

Ascribing Motives In 2012

This is the kind of thing that just makes my blood boil. Jeb Bush claims there is no schism between his family and Rick Perry, yet he takes veiled pot-shots at the Texas Governor including this little gem that speaks volumes.

“I think when you start ascribing bad motives to the guy [Obama], that’s wrong. It turns off people who want solutions."


Okay, I have a lot of respect for the Bush's, but this is why we need to move on from the Bush Dynasty and keep them out of the power circles of Washington (I'm looking at you Karl Rove). Anyone with any common sense can only come to one conclusion on President Obama: he DOES have bad motives. The only alternative is that he's the dumbest man ever to reside in the White House and that just doesn't seem plausible. He has and is wrecking the economy with policies that do not work. If you don't believe me, please refer to the 20th Century for a pile of evidence taller than Yao Ming.

This constant, ridiculous notion that we can't tell it like it is because it will "turn off" the voters is the same nonsense that has given us the disastrous campaigns of Bob Dole and John McCain, and the utterly disappointing second George W. Bush term (and much of the first) where it was considered beneath the presidency to respond to charges of being the reincarnation of Adolph Hitler.

This is pure twaddle and the GOP has to reject it if it wants to lead this country into the next decade...otherwise they're just going to be the other side of the same coin.

8/21/2011

Libya On The Verge Of Toppling Gaddafi?

Or so it would seem. Don't want to get overly optimistic, but this might finally be the end of Gaddafi. Yes, lot's of folks like Obama will try and take credit, but who cares...let them. The important thing is that Libya might have a chance at freedom. Odds are against liberal democracy, but you never know unless you try. Cheers to NATO for the air support and cheers to the rebels for risking their lives for a chance at freedom.

8/18/2011

THIS Is How You Apologize


Rick Perry vs The Consultant Class

The great Erick Erickson breaks down the odds on the GOP field for President this morning at RedState and offers up some very interesting information on Rick Perry and his campaign team:


Carole Strayhorn ran against Perry in the GOP primary in 2006. She and her consultants had their butts handed to them by Perry and his team.

Karl Rove was a key player, despite his occasional denials, in Kay Bailey Hutchison’s defeat at Rick Perry’s hands last year in the Republican primary for Texas Governor.

Even Obama’s campaign guy, David Axelrod, has been crushed by Rick Perry.

So you have these guys, the Romney camp, and all their related friends on the left and the right trying to settle every score they can with Perry and his consultant, Dave Carney.

This, by the way, is why the attacks are coming fast and furious right now. This is why Republicans are leaking to reporters that Perry is too out of control or has, as Alex Castellanos put it on CNN last night, “Mad Cowboy Disease.”

Because so much of the consultant class will be shut out of the White House should Rick Perry win, their livelihoods depend on Rick Perry losing either now or in November. And frankly, for a few in the GOP consultant class, they’ll gladly see Perry lose in November just to ensure they are not shut out of a Republican White House.

Sadly, D.C. is all about making sure you've got a place at the table and if not, taking revenge on those who would deny you. This is an example of where the parties merge and form the ruling elite. This both scares the hell out of me and make Rick Perry all that more attractive as a candidate. Erickson says we'll have to see how he and his team whether the storm in the coming months to see if he can go the distance. True enough.

8/17/2011

Rick Perry Makes Media Love Bush (so to speak)

This was predicted by blogger smarter than I, but who could have predicted it being so laughable. Now that Rick Perry has announced his candidacy for President, the media is showing "laser-like focus" on the Texas Governor and, as many predicted, comparing him to George W. Bush in a way that makes Bush seem liberal by comparison. After 8 years of calling Bush everything in the book, they now say he wasn't so bad. But this little passage is just too much:

Perry thinks of W as a country club Republican, a politician too willing to work out deals. Bush doesn't think of Perry much at all. The people who want Jesus as a screensaver on every computer in public schools, call women who have had abortions "baby killers," think that being a homosexual is a "lifestyle choice," and are convinced that humans once saddled up and rode west on dinosaurs; these people all made Bush uncomfortable. But Perry loves them. He shares many of their beliefs. They helped elect him governor.

Yeah, I remember all the talk about how religiously moderate Bush was during his presidency. Nope, never heard a single pundit call Bush extreme once.

I shouldn't let this stuff surprise me, but it still does.

8/15/2011

California Is A Lost Cause

I'm gonna keep saying this until I'm blue in the face. When California finally collapses, there had better be NO federal bailout.


When California’s elected officials come back from their month-long recess they face a mountain of proposed legislation (almost 900 bills are lined up and waiting), including a new law (SB432) that would require hotels to eliminate flat sheets. Not having fitted sheets on hotel beds would now be a crime in California. This is not a joke. . .

But at the same time, it is.

Roger L. Simon: Agnostics For Perry

A brilliant post this morning from Roger L. Simon on the rise of the religious Rick Perry and Simon's own agnosticism.

That may be one of the few things I share with the incumbent president since it’s hard to believe that he is even remotely devout. Recent liberal Democrats, Clinton and Obama, have a kind of wink-wink relationship with religion, largely attending church for political purposes. This is particularly true of 

Obama who, as we all know, rarely attends now, but spent two decades in the fold of the execrable race-hustler Jeremiah Wright, a man who would make Elmer Gantry blush. If his allegiance to the reverend wasn’t for political purposes, what was it? Let’s hope it was anyway. If he looked to Wright for spiritual guidance, Obama is suffering from some kind of delusional psychosis.

So what this agnostic observes is a general atmosphere of religious phoniness — a baseline hypocrisy — on the liberal side and what is often genuine religious faith on the conservative side. (Not all, of course. A number of libertarians are agnostic.).

Frankly, I prefer honesty. So I respect Perry for his faith. And, again as we all know, this country was founded on bedrock principles of religious tolerance, which some modern liberals tend to forget includes people who actually believe in God. Personally, I admire Perry’s belief, even envy it to some extent, because I am reaching the point in life at which I would be delighted if someone could convince me of an afterlife.

RTWT.

8/13/2011

Twitter Shows Just How Tone-Deaf Obama Is

At the very moment that Texas Governor Rick Perry is making a speech at RedState announcing his run for President, this tweet comes from CBS's Mark Knoller:
I don't begrudge Obama his down-time, but geesh! Talk about a juxtaposition.

8/12/2011

Individual Mandate Struck Down, "Wild And Crazy" Anthony Kennedy Awaits

The big news today: the 11th Circuit Court struck down the individual mandate in the Obamacare law. The reasoning is clear to even a Constitutional layman: the federal government can't make people buy things...it can regulate the products we buy, but it can't make us buy them.

It's a nice victory, but ultimately it's just a step toward the end-game, i.e. the Supreme Court, double-i.e. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, the most famous swinger since the Czechoslovakian Festrunk Brothers from the golden years of Saturday Night Live.

8/08/2011

D.B. Cooper Wins Another Round

Just breaking: no DNA Match.

The FBI says DNA found on the tie of hijacker D.B. Cooper does not match a new suspect in the case.

Special Agent Fred Gutt cautioned that the test does not necessarily rule out the deceased suspect because investigators do not know whether DNA on the tie is that of the hijacker. Gutt said there are three different DNA samples on the tie and that it's possible it had been used previously by other people.

In other words, we're never gonna find the guy. And maybe that's the way it should be, but frankly I'm the type of guy that would love to know. That's just me.

Quote Of The Week

All hail the political elite!

"There's no point trying to explain complicated matters to the American people."

8/05/2011

And Boom Goes The Dynamite: USA Downgraded to AA Credit Rating

Obama owns this. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

Obama And The PoMo Dream

Brilliant doesn't come close to describing this latest piece from James Lewis at the American Thinker.

The United States of America is now governed by a postmodern "construct."  The Nazis and Soviets invented the nonperson, a living human being who just went poof! one day and disappeared, even from official Pravda photos of vodka-sozzled Party thugs waving to the masses marching by Lenin's tomb.  Sometimes the desaparecidos were big Soviet apparatchiks.  When Stalin was going strong, he disappeared whole cohorts of the Red Army officer corps and millions of Ukrainian peasants.  Needless to say, the New York Times and the UK Guardian helped those folks to disappear by forgetting to write about them.

Obama did that trick in reverse. Instead of vanishing without a trace he just popped into existence, without a hint there was a living person there before, with parents, friends, college chums.


RTWT.

Drip, Drip: More D.B. Cooper Info

The USA Today has more tiny tidbits on the alleged D.B. Cooper:

One of two brothers implicated by a niece in the 40-year-old "D.B. Cooper" skyjacking case worked at Boeing around the time of the fabled incident, according to the woman's mother, The Seattle Times reports.

[snip]

Boeing confirms that a Dewy Cooper worked briefly for Boeing in the late 1960s, The Seattle Times reports, but does not know whether his job would have given him knowledge of the skyjacked airplane.
The newspaper also reports that an Oregon death certificate shows that an L.D. Cooper, 67, died in Eugene, Ore., in 1999, and was buried near Bend, Ore. His occupation is listed as surveyor and engineering survey.

Stay tuned....

8/03/2011

Lunch Crashing Congressman Shows What's Wrong With Washington

So Obama goes out for a calorie-loaded lunch to celebrate 50 years on the planet and bankrupting the country when he is approached by Rep. G.K. Butterfield, D-N.C. talking about the debt deal:

"I explained to him that I didn't vote with him, but I'm glad that it passed," Butterfield said. "He said that he understood."

What the F? Seriously, it's this kind of thinking that has just buried this country. If you're glad it passed, then you should have voted for it. If you didn't vote for it, that should mean that you didn't want it passed. This playing both sides business is messed up and it's gotta go.

SHOCK: Shocking Mubarak Trial Shocks Egyptians (Shock!)

While the future of Egypt looks pretty bleak with the Muslim Brotherhood thugs looming (despite denials), there has to be some much needed glee (what's the Arabic word for "schadenfreude"?) being felt by the Egyptian people seeing Hose-me Mubarak in a cage...an actual cage!


The reaction of the Egyptian people has been one of "shock." The word is so prevalent that this CBC story reads almost like an Onion piece:

I'm reading this article and I'm like, "For the love of Allah...what kind of shock? Good shocking? Bad shocking?" They finally got around to telling us near the end of the article that it's mostly good-shocking.

Regardless, I hoping that hypochondria is also a crime in Egypt in which case Mubarak would get the death penalty (one where he imagines he died).

The Battle Of Gettysburg Circa 2011

Perhaps one of the most shocking outcomes of the recent debt deal is how split the Conservative punditry is over the outcome. Rush, Levin, Hannity, Erickson and others are convinced the Conservatives got played and this is a huge setback. Others, like Charles Krauthammer see the deal as a huge victory for the Tea Party even comparing it to Henry V at Agincourt (Google it).




My take? I think now that the debt deal is done, we need to take a deep breath and rearm for battle. In my mind, a more apt historical metaphor would the Battle of Gettysburg. It's a victory that feels like a defeat because it was so bloody, and it's a victory in a much larger war. Again, it doesn't feel like victory because we lost so much, but what little we did gain can be built upon and ultimately lead to winning the war, just as Gettysburg did for the Union.

Look, if not for the Tea Party members of Congress, this would have been a non-issue. Obama would get everything he wanted, the forces of statism would have marched on the capitol without a hint of opposition and the cradle to grave welfare state would be assured. In the end, we still have a higher debt ceiling, lots of spending and tax hikes looming (depending on who you talk to), but there were rebel forces there to meet the marching hordes. We bloodied them. Indeed, we could have done more with better Generals, but we did bloody them. Now is not the time to go wobbly and say it's hopeless. Now is the time to send reinforcements. Now is the time to send Mike Lee, Jim DeMint, Ron Johnson and Rand Paul some backup. Now is the time to get Marco Rubio in front of every camera in the District of Columbia. Now is the time to get a Rick Perry or Sarah Palin in the White House and keep pushing the hordes back further and further until they're forced to regroup, reinvent their message and start over.

It not too late, it can still be done. We've got one more chance to turn this thing around: 2012. 2010 was the prologue, 2012 will be the year we finally answer Ronald Reagan's question of whether we will preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on earth, or we will sentence them to take the first step into a thousand years of darkness. Over the top? Maybe, but by the time you answer that question, it'll be too late.

UPDATE: Great minds think alike. Ed Morrissey's take on the deal/battle.

ABC News Gets Exclusive With D.B. Cooper Tipster

Turns out she's the niece of the supposed D.B. Cooper who died in 1999. We now have a guitar strap and a Polaroid picture to add to the folklore. Love it.

UPDATE: Geoffrey Gray skeptical.

8/02/2011

D.B. Cooper Mania Running Wild

And admittedly, I'm a part of it. I love the D.B. Cooper saga and when the story hit that the FBI may have found a promising new lead, I was hot to trot.

Some interesting developments:

1) A new book on the D.B. Cooper case is scheduled to come out next week. The Christian Science Monitor rightly speculates on whether this is a mere coincidence or just a stroke of luck for the author, Geoffrey Gray:

Gray has said in an interview with the Today Show that he doubts that the new suspect will lead to any big breaks in the case, told NBC News, but he can't help but be pleased about the likely jump in book sales "Skyjacking' will get from the appearance of this well-timed new lead. Since the D.B. Cooper case is already surrounded by conspiracy theories, a book on the case and a new suspect popping up in the same week should have Cooper conspiracy theorists buzzing gleefully.
And I'll probably play right into his hands.

2) The AP reports that the new lead comes from a "retired law enforcement source" on a man from the Northwest who (unfortunately) has been dead for 10 years. It's too much to wish that Cooper is still alive and ready to begin a whirlwind media tour, but dreamers and their dreams.

Regardless, if they find out that Cooper survived the jump and lived for several years afterwards, that's cool enough in itself. However, leads like this are like hot girls at a party...lots of teasing but they never pan out in the end.

The folks at the Seattle PI are having quite a bit of fun taking phones calls from alleged D.B. Coopers and other conspiracy nuts (not me). Funny read.