Rageboy Goes to West Point

Imagine this blogger sitting in front of a CRT that will certainly soon be replaced by an LCD that is larger and more vivid, sitting here in a silk upholstered chair peckety pecking at the keyboard, and wondering about the ethics of all this.

Chris Locke, the Chief Blogging Officer, is my friend… he takes my calls.  Now he’s tied up in some sick relationship with the US Army.  I dunno…

I’m a pacifist, never mind the life style accoutrements like the rose pink Cadillac in the driveway and the basement room sparsely decorated with old Rolling Stone illustrations, a wing chair with stuffing coming from the seams, a little side table with an ashtray and a match blackened spoon.

I never said I was perfect, but trust me, I only take the gas guzzler to the track.  Why am I blogging when I should be in bed?  My temperature is down to normal today and I’m left with monstrous congestion and a sore throat and aching ribs from so much coughing.

Meanwhile I should be working on the Wisconsin Draft Counseling Network blog and instead I’m posting about how Uncle Sam reads Chris.

But I had the chance here to highlight some of the whacked out complexities of getting along in the world, so why not blog?  I asked Chris for a free ride on HighBeam.  Chris hooked me up.  Now I’m telling you that you should go read him.  You’re lucky actually.  He’s only been CBOing it since November so what he has piled up there in the archives is something you can work you way through.  This is the moderated Chris Locke, the business like CBO.  For the non-worksafe stuff, the totally deranged and gonzoid over the top stuff, you have to go to the EGR blog.  I’d recommend that you start with a few early issues of the ‘zine, Entropy Gradient Reversals, then read forward in the ‘blog from late 2024 to present.  It’s a roller coaster and the graphics and design are worth flipping through the pages even if you’re an ADD case like me.   

When is a parody not a parody?

The compact OED says that a parody is 1 an amusingly exaggerated imitation of the style of a writer, artist, or genre. 2 a feeble imitation.   Here’s my question:  is this page at The National Debate a parody or just a rip-off? 

It would be easier to discern if the times didn’t have all the columns that are called into question behind a firewall.  The single item that I can verify that Cox is correct to criticize is a Maureen Dowd column from May 14, 2024, "Osama’s Offspring."

He may be right about others, although I doubt he really caught Paul Krugman out on social security.  But how can I say?  I’d have to pay to play.  The Times needs to lighten up and provide to the public archival access.

Bottom line for me is that humorless page with the NYT logo.  There’s nothing "amusingly exagerated" or parodic about the contents.  To me, it looks like a straight rip-off of the Times’ identity.

Cox appears to me to be a member of the wealthy claque of right wing apologists for the inhumane GWB administration.  As such, he has a lot of financial muscle behind him and one can see why the Times would rather settle than push the issue.

Sick Day

It’s Saturday and I’m taking a sick day.  On Wednesday I had a molar removed… fallout from some inept work and bad luck in the wisdom tooth department many years ago.  Felt fine for the rest of the week.  Last night I felt some congestion and coughed a little.  Today I have a monstro fever and a bad cough.  There are a lot of things I’d like to work on, but they’ll have to wait. 

I want to expand on Dave Rogers’ comment in the post below about a billion and a half from the Bush administration being a good thing. I think Dave is right and I think he’s wrong. It’s deeper than that. He can be right based on surface interpretations, but he can be very wrong based on the deeper meaning of the propaganda work that the administration is engaged in.  I wish that someone with a better grasp of the way to acknowledge that a billion and a half spent on marriage counseling is very different from the work that the administration seems to be doing with the money would chime in.   Thanks for your earlier comment Dean.  Now if only I could see the middle ground emerge…

I want to congratulate Susan Mernit for her Bloggie nomination!!  Vote early, vote often.

I have to go back to bed.


From Shelley’s comments, I learned about a new tool, a Firefox extension, Foxylicious, that integrates your del.icio.us bookmarks into your Firefox bookmarks.  Cool.  Sort of a complimentary dessert after the cheap eats at the semantic web cafe.

Shelley’s post is a thorough look at tags with beautiful photos interspersed in the flow of a somewhat technical post…  Foxylicious in its own right!

Caption Contest…

How often do we do this around here?  Not often, but this picture just begs for captions…


AP Photo/Ron Edmonds

Journalist Ethics on the Right

Seems that as right-wing journalism meets right-wing government, ethical distinctions tend to blur.  This from Eric Boehlert at Salon today…

"One day after President Bush ordered his Cabinet secretaries to stop
hiring commentators to help promote administration initiatives, and one
day after the second high-profile conservative pundit was found to be
on the federal payroll, a third embarrassing hire has emerged. Salon
has confirmed that Michael McManus, a marriage advocate whose
syndicated column, "Ethics & Religion," appears in 50 newspapers,
was hired as a subcontractor by the Department of Health and Human
Services to foster a Bush-approved marriage initiative. McManus
championed the plan in his columns without disclosing to readers he was
being paid to help it succeed."

Later in the column, we read,

The problem springs
from the failure of both Gallagher and McManus to disclose their
government payments when writing about the Bush proposals. But one HHS
critic says another dynamic has led to the controversy, and a blurring
of ethical and journalistic lines: Horn and HHS are hiring advocates –
not scholars — from the pro-marriage movement. "They’re ideological
sympathizers who propagandize," says Tim Casey, attorney for Legal
Momentum, a women’s rights organization. He describes McManus as being
a member of the "extreme religious right."

Horn denies the
charge: "It’s not true that we have just been selectively working with
conservatives." According to news accounts, the administration seeks to
spend $1.5 billion promoting marriage through marriage-enrichment
courses, counseling and public-awareness campaigns.

A billion and a half promoting marriage.  And "marriage" has become a right-wing code word for homophobic reactionary politics.  Scary.


The Content Factor

John Barth, look out.  Jeneane’s rolling a fat one at www.contentfactor.com.  Or, cracking me up, she says, "… for those of you who like a good article, [at] www.thecontentfactor.com."  That pair of URIs are simple placeholders right now, but someday soon, I hope, content is a-coming.  The blog-sister’s business will soon be displayed to the woild.

Where does he come up with this stuff?

So in the middle of a typical rant regarding suitcase atomic bombs, the Kirkus Review, 

Paris Review Book of Heartbreak, Madness, Sex, Love, Betrayal,
Outsiders, Intoxication, War, Whimsy, Horrors, God, Death, Dinner…

    …Baseball, Travels, The Art of Writing, And Everything Else in the World Since 1953

yes… right in the middle of all that, Locke latches onto Hewitt’s abortion made bookish, Blog, (not the title of a horror movie) the subject of my single foray into journalistic research, and guess what?  He’s as annoyed with it as I am. 

Yes, I asked, I wheedled, I cajoled, I pleaded… pled… whatever…  I attempted to get the big boy journos at the recent to tell me just how Hewitt’s book happened to be the only piece of schwag distributed at this otherwise  high tone gathering.  I mean these folks didn’t get to take home as much as a cheesy t-shirt with a conference logo on it, yet there for any and all to stuff in their ditty-bags was a pile of Hewitt’s books. I asked, did the conference hand these out?  No answer.  I asked, was it a private party who made them available?  No answer.  I was beginning to feel like Aunt Polly calling for Tom in the opening passage of Tom Sawyer

Well, lacking the stick-to-it-iveness of a real professional, and not wanting to hector these poor folks further, I let the line of inquiry drop.  But now that the CBO has surfaced the blackguard’s book on his own, I feel compelled to ask again…

How did Hewitt’s book happen to be distributed free at the Harvard conference on journalism and credibility?