Fuck the Fairness Doctrine

One of the most annoying things about politics is the puerile tendency to want to re-fight yesterday’s battles. Republicans may have long memories, but there are a few on our side that seem to.

There are blogo-rumblings that the Fairness doctrine might be reinstituted. Not only is this a form of censorship, it is paternalistic. At this point, if there’s anyone left that doesn’t know Fox News is a right-wing propaganda machine probably also doesn’t know that smoking is bad for you.

In other words, people get it.

God. Can you imagine? Jon Stewart having to have some douche like Tucker Carlson walk-back his anti-Bush joking?

Oy. The stupid… it burns!

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O-bomb-a 2008

Obama’s in. Oy vey.

I admire his political adroitness. First, he plays to the activist left, then shows that he’s really centrist. After having done not so much in the senate, after a mere 2 years, he’s running for president surfing a giant wave of popularity and intrigue.

So, here’s the problem. No one wants to be the anti-Obama (i.e. the get-in-the-way-of-the-black-president candidate), so, I’m afraid it’s going to be his race to lose.

This probably means, after all, that Gore isn’t in. Ironically, Obama can take the center because a lot of the harder left will be voting for the idea of him, even if he won’t get hard-core anti-Iraq.

I’d love to see him as the VP nominee, but this is going to be tough.

Of those who are in, I really don’t know who I support anymore. I like most of them, but I don’t really get all that excited about one term senators, white or black.

Yes, the "Boring" Devils Are Back

DJS is correct–all of a sudden, I’ve heard the Devils called boring again. That must mean they’re winning by keeping the other team from scoring. What a concept.

The Devils lack the depth everywhere except in goal that their championship teams had. There is no doubt about that. Thing is, no team is as deep right now as the pre-cap elites were, except, perhaps, Buffalo and Anaheim, both of whom are experiencing a 1999-2000 Devil-like crop of excellent rookies. (Note to oppoents: put your checking line on Getzlaf, not Selanne. No. Don’t. You can lose to Getzlaf, but if you don’t check Selanne, the media will criticize you. Lose the right way!)

Is there a trade to me made for the Devils? I think there is. As dead as this season has been on that front, I think at the deadline things will happen. And, of course, it will be a defenseman. If I had to guess, I’d say (if available) Sheldon Souray. Lou likes old Devils a lot.

The NHL needs to stop trashing one of the only two post-Bettman dynasties, one of the few teams that is consistent enough to matter every year, and, now, a team with such a strong tradition.

The Gospel of Food

A new book by Barry Glasner rips to shreds the dogmas of the food world. Without intending to, Glasner may have created Exhibit A in the case against science by social deconstructionists. So flawed, and full of bogus citations are the literature on the health effects of certain foods and certain diets as to be meaningless.

This, Glasner shows, have sucked the joy out of eating for most Americans. Glasner also lampoons the crypto-mystic search for the “pure” and “genuine” ethnic foods by the cosmo-elite, and shames the “food imperialists” who have the gall to lecture the poor and starving on what they eat.

If only conservatives knew that the best antidote to Volvo-driving, sushi-eating liberalism is not Ayn Rand, but Karl Marx. Glasner proves that in this book.

One of his best examples is to show how the labor-left and its affiliates have orchestrated a virtual war against companies like McDonalds, while leaving virtually untouched the sweat shops that are most “ethnically genuine” restaurants.

This latter point rang especially true with me because of my profession and some of my clientele, I happen to know that ostensibly high-end restaurants are some of the worst violators of wage rights, whereas the managers at Taco Bell and McDonalds can practically recite the wage laws from memory.

Glasner is a sociologist, so perhaps he is putting too much explanatory power in social theories, but it is hard to deny that people who wouldn’t be caught dead in a McDonalds also seem to have no problem with the food Starbucks serves. Indeed, if people like me pick on Starbucks, it’s not for their food, it’s for being a “big corporation.”

Most importantly, he explodes the myths surrounding the obesity “epidemic,” something not too different from killer bees, the bird flu, and other adult bogeymen. Most of the so-called science linking obesity to heart disease is bogus, and there is little to affirm the connection.

Glasner doesn’t dismiss or oppose the slow food movement, or organics (which he also effectively takes apart in a large way), but simply seems to doubt of their efficacy for the whole mostly starving population.

Wonderful book.

Revenge of the Devils

The post-lock out rule changes to the NHL were aimed more at the NJ Devils than any other team. The venal trapezoid rule had its biggest impact on Martin Brodeur. The elimination of the red line was meant to make it harder to trap in the neutral zone and the larger offensive zone generally made defense more difficult.

A year-and-a-half later the Devils appear to have broken the code. Over the last three games the Devils’ opponents have submitted themselves to try to beat the Devils at the Devils’ trapping game rather than trying to enforce their style of play on the Devils. At the coaching and scouting level, evidently, it has become clear that the Devils’ counter-attacking game is too effective. The Devils will lose their share of these grind-‘e,-out contests, but forcing other teams into them gives the Devils an advantage in almost every game. The game is being played on their terms.

It’s a little different now than in years past. Once the Devils would try to win the game 5-on-5. Their power play seemed like almost an after thought (I believe they were last int he league in 2003 when they won the cup). Now the Devils merely aim for a tie 5-on-5 and save their offense for the power play. Most of their players are minuses as a result, but the wins keep on piling up.

You can tell that the “old” Devils are back because opponents are starting to bitch about them. Ted Nolan said that Saturday’s 2-1 win over his Islanders was boring. I though it was more like a playoff game: a battle for every inche of ice, outstanding goal tending, fewer scoring chances than usual but the scarcity gave each chance more bubbly pertinence than normal. Regardless, you never hear anyone complain about the Blues, Blackhawks or Blue Jackets because they are losers.

Even though the Devils rounded into form last year I always felt that they were a standard deviation below the top teams in the league. Although the Devils were only 20 seconds of Kleefense away from taking game two and making it a series with eventual champ Carolina last year, they were still out played for most of that series and it would have taken a lot of luck for them to pull it out. This year they are right there with the best teams of the league, except perhaps, for Anaheim when they are healthy. I’m anxious to see the Devils play Buffalo again.

Robert Anton Wilson: Rest In Peace

The Grand Duke of Discordianism joined the spiritual side of the universal conversation on January 11.

I enjoyed most of Mr. Wilson’s writing and I would be lying if I did not say that his ideas, or his expressions of others’ ideas, did not have a profound impact on my own thinking; or even just provide me with interesting things to amuse others with at parties.

Unlike so many flash-in-the-pan pseudo-thinkers Mr. Wilson’s works will interest and challenge decades from now. Right this moment there is an unborn being that will come across “Illuminatus!” one stoned-over morning in his sophomore year of college.

He’s in for a good read.