The Spectacle Blog
Who'd have thunk that Vin Weber, one of the great stalwarts of the conservative movement, would sell his soul and get into bed with MoveOn.org and other left-wing groups to regulate the Internet?
We hear that he's taking upwards of $300,000 each from the likes of Google, Yahoo, Amazon.com, eBay, Microsoft and others -- all of which rarely give a dime, and then only grudingly, to Republicans -- to shill for legislation on the Hill that would regulate the Internet. Not only is he pressing for Internet regulation, but Weber apparently is now supportive of knocking down child-security filters and allowing porn to be transmitted over cell phones and with virtually no parental controls on at-home computers.
The legislation Weber is backing would enable all of that, and yet the Chrisitian Coalition has now apparently joined him in his fight. Just how big a check did Reverend Falwell take from Weber, we wonder?
Every day when a person uses Google, Yahoo, either company's email system, or associated free software, etc., their privacy is "violated" to a larger degree than what the NSA is doing with phone records.
That's a simple reality. Why aren't people upset about Google, which is now one of the largest corporations in the world? And a company, we might add, that is in full cooperation with the ChiComm overlords in Beijing.
This is how powerful Google's software and algorithms are: if you are using their service at a Wi-Fi hotspot, they can actually monitor your location and send you personalized advertising to steer you to services and businesses within a three block radius.
The NSA isn't doing that. And what the NSA is doing is saving lives, unlike Google, which is just making a buck. Perhaps we should be worried about other things beyond the NSA.
Since we're breaking the 25-year rule, I'd nominate James Webb's Fields of Fire.
In the 1970s, the NYTBR, much less political than nowadays, featured, week after week, wonderful novels in their lead review. I read them all (it seems, now); I had a membership in the Mechanics Institute Library of San Francisco, which bought everything. Of that bunch, I best remember "Edwin Mullhouse: The Life and Death of an American Writer, 1943-1954," by Stephen Millhauser.
But wait, that was 30 years ago, not 25. In the years afterward, when I was in the lit game, the common wisdom was that the novel was dead. I came around to Stephen King's view, expressed at the American Book Awards, that the real flame keepers of novel writing are now, and have been for some years, the popular novelists -- not the pretend litterateurs like Toni Morrison, but the real entertainers like King, Clancy, Turow, and such.
So I'll nominate The Shining.
The New York Times asked a pretty distinguished panel that question, and the answer seems identical to what might be returned by Oprah’s Book Club: Toni Morrison’s Beloved. The rest of the list suggests a somewhat rigged game, with Philip Roth placing no less than six novels in the honorable mentions. A feature on the poll results is promised for Sunday’s book review. I haven’t read enough contemporary fiction to be a worthy judge of such things – too much Thomas Pynchon in younger days soured me, I guess. However, I have read Toni Morrison, and I do know that Beloved is not the best novel of this or any other quarter century.
I haven’t read enough contemporary fiction to be a worthy judge of such things – too much Thomas Pynchon in younger days soured me, I guess. However, I have read Toni Morrison, and I do know that Beloved is not the best novel of this or any other quarter century.
Quin, this may be of interest only to you and me. Darren Clarke was called home from a tournament last week to be at his wife Heather's side as she battles cancer via chemotherapy. He's playing this week in The British Masters at The Belfry, not far from his London home, so he can drive back and forth.
Aside from his golf, Clarke is noteworthy for his kicky spiked frosted hairdos, his go-to-hell trousers, and a ruddy, life-affirming face that obviously enjoys the good things -- cigars, fast cars, Guinness.
His appearance, via the Golf Channel, is a shock. His hair is an untended mess, his clothes look slept-in, and his face is ashen and drawn. Things must not be going well in the Clarke household. Astonishingly, he's leading the golf tournament.
Perhaps someone at AmSpec can pull it up, but the Washington Post this morning "breaks" news that we reported on weeks ago: that the DNC, its leader, Howard Dean and the House and Senate Democrats are in a big cat fight over money and strategy.
Why the MSM insists on portraying the troubles of Republicans over the troubles of Democrats is clear cut. But conservatives should be clear: while the GOP infighting is largely over policy, the Democrat fighting is over turf, cash, and a general ineptitude that will not be helpful to them in the fall.
To be fair to wishy-washy USA Today, the paper also gave space today to Clinton W. Taylor, a frequent contributor to this site and probably the world's leading authority on Yale's Taliban fetish, whose op-ed "Get Hashemi Out of Yale" appears as an opposing view to the pro-Hashemi editorial. Of course, Clint was given only about the space enjoyed by the editorial itself, but isn't that the way the world always works -- a principled conservative view always finding itself badly outnumbered yet somehow triumphant nonetheless?
We're hearing from multiple sources that the CIA, General Michael Hayden and White House legislative affairs are pulling back on meetings with Senators up on Capitol Hill. Hayden is said by two sources to be calling Senators asking to delay meeting. Hayden has friendly relationships with a number of Senators who serve on the Senate Intelligence Committee.
This news throws into question whether Hayden will ever get a hearing on a nomination that many consider now dead on arrival up in the Senate. This is in part due to the NSA story today, in part due to more White House ineptitude.