The Electric Commentary

Friday, July 09, 2004

Oh great,

I get mentioned on Instapundit, and it's the one time I take a position defending Michael Moore. I also think my word choice makes me sound like a high school student. The reason I picked that particular book is because it is the ONLY copy of Fahrenheit 451 I can remember seeing with books burning on the cover. Since then, I have only seen a generic cover with no discernible message. I'll have to watch my word choice next time. He also left out all of my implications that I don't like Moore. The full text was:

After looking at the flag burning cover that you link to, I find myself in the position of having to defend Moore. I recall that the cover of Fahrenheit 451 in my high school library featured a picture of books burning. Fahrenheit 451 does not advocate the burning of books. Therefore, I believe that Moore's point is that the administration is responsible for the destruction of what the flag stands for, and is accusing them of "burning the flag." He is in effect advocating NOT burning the flag. So the comment on this that you link to is disingenuous. And I don't like disingenuous arguments. There is plenty to pick on Moore for legitimately.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to take a shower.

It wasn't edited, just clipped, which is fine. But since I have the ability to provide full context, I will.

And I don't mean to sound bitter or surly. One of my goals is to get linked on Instapundit, and you have to start somewhere. All publicity is good publicity, and I'm thankful to Glenn for quoting me.


  • no offense to stale-sex and booze of course-- 2 of my closest friends...

    By Blogger ahren, at 5:39 PM  

  • the booze comment makes no sense without the previous one, which seems to have disappeared into internet limbo... oh well...

    By Blogger ahren, at 7:07 PM  

  • It showed up on a different posts comments.

    You've got a point, and I've considered not voting. But I think that even if you have two candidate douchebags, you can vote for one of them based on the probable real world outcom of their presidency. I think that:

    1. If Kerry had his way he would pass huge new entitlements, raise taxes immensely, and torpedo the war in Iraq. He may also be bad for free trade, Edwards certainly is. But...
    2. I think that Republicans will fight this tooth and nail, and not let him accomplish anything. Popular sentiment will keep him on track in Iraq. Clintonian precedent should keep trade at least as free as it's been under the current administration. Since Kerry will (porbably) be in opposition with both houses of congress (and at least 1) he will have the fewest opportunities to pass stupid, freedom removing laws.

    I'd love to vote for some ideal candidate (like me) but I can't. That's not reality (Although I did vote for me once before). Bush + friendly congress can do all sorts of stupid stuff (And has). Kerry + Republican congress can't do shit. Not a tough choice really. Of course Kerry + Democratic congress is a disaster, but it seems like a long shot at this point.

    By Blogger PaulNoonan, at 11:07 AM  

  • What do you think of this response to you on Instapundit?
    Okay, that was a valiant, but vain, attempt to defend another of Michael Moore's indefensible acts. Bradbury's book was a cautionary tale of the future in which the government's control of information had gone unbridled and reached the point of book burning. U.S. flag burning, on the other hand, is an act that is most commonly engaged in by the target audience of Michael Moore's movie. This poster, conspicuously depicting an American flag burning, was apparently directed to moviegoers in the Benelux countries. Does your reader really suggest that this poster is meant to strike fear in the heart of the average citizen of a Benelux country that U.S. flags will be burned -- as the book burning in F451 was intended to do with respect to books? That is ridiculous. The purpose of the burning flag on the poster is to do what everyone who looks at it thinks it is supposed to do: inspire or fan hatred for the U.S. If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck . . .

    By Blogger DannyNoonan, at 1:36 PM  

  • "If Kerry had his way he would pass huge new entitlements, raise taxes immensely, and torpedo the war in Iraq. He may also be bad for free trade, Edwards certainly is."

    What makes you say this? The only tax changes I've heard Kerry propose are rolling back the Bush cuts (which I suppose is technically a raise) back to Clinton levels, and CUTTING the corporate tax rate by 5%. As far as Iraq, Bush has been moving towards policy that Kerry was proposing a year prior. He's not a "cut and run" lefty if that's what you meant. On trade, he has called for a review of all our trade agreements to see that they are being complied with and disregards economic isolationism; is that bad for free trade?

    I'm not a Democrat by any means, but I do intend to vote for Kerry, and I'd rather do that than sit on the nonvoter fence and criticize both parties while never affecting their actions.

    By Blogger RyanSimatic, at 9:55 PM  

  • i understand the "real world outcome" notion of voting, also sometimes referred to as the "game theory" of voting, etc.

    the problem is that it's a fallacy, because the real-world, mid to long-term conclusion of a voting system in which the majority of the public votes with that philosophy is that the candidates will adapt to it as well, and eventually we'll be stuck choosing between 2 candidates who are exactly the same, except for one easily-definable, yet not necessarrily significant factor...

    so instead of the meager choice already presented, you'll end up with the incumbant and a slightly better looking challenger who holds all the same views-- or something like that.

    perhaps we are already seeing this trend play out in our current election a little bit.

    By Blogger ahren, at 12:31 PM  

  • I need to get some sleep. I have to go light on substance today.

    Ryan, I think Edward undermines Kerry's free trade credentials. HIs whole campaign was based on "the two Americas" he voted against Nafta, and he is Senator of one of the most protectionist states in the country (due to their textile industry). As far as taxes go, I actually don't care that much. Spending is a bigger deal for me. Huge medicare entitlements are spending. Kerry has proposed one. It is much bigger than Bushes, and I don't like that either. I could say all of the same stuff about Bush. I'll do more tommorrow. I need to look up some, y'know, facts.

    Ahren, They do adjust to voting strategies, I'm sure. But if that's true, and my voting strategy is to create gridlock, and enough people copy me to create candidates that don't want to pass any laws, I'm ok with that. But that's probbly overly simplistic and I can do better than that. Tomorrow.

    But you're right, they are kind of the same, aren't they?

    By Blogger PaulNoonan, at 4:41 PM  

  • Game theory voting:

    In the theory that I suggested, I think it's important that there was not any particular policy that I was trying to defeat. I think that laws are bad in general. How could a public figure be influenced into stratification by that theory? There is no "policy positions" to latch on to. Only that consentrated power is bad. They would end up taking positions not to act at all, except in a crisis, or in a very limites sense. If that hapens, I'm cool with it. Gridlock is good.

    By Blogger PaulNoonan, at 3:56 PM  

  • Kerry, Taxes, Trade, etc.

    He has pledged to roll back Bushes tax cuts. That's fine. What concerns me is if he is a deficit hawk, as he implies, how does he expect to pay for the cost of health care? Just the top end of that tax cut is not going to cut it. I'm also OK with cutting corp taxes, as they don't make sense in a general sort of way (double taxation) and cause businesses to hoard cash that should be in some productive use. But for me it comes back to funding. Cutting taxes use to cause lower spending. This is obviously not the case any more. But higher spending has still almost always led to higher taxes. I don't like either.

    As I said before, Edwards trade policies scare me a bit. But they probably woud not be any worse than Bushes have been. Especially sugar which you rarely hear about (Which costs the economy about 1.9billon a year, raises the price of almost every food, and has resulted in one of the tragedies of the American diet, the oversupply of corn for high fructose corn syrup, the worst kind of sugar for health reasons).

    As for Iraq, I think that it would be impossible for even a completely pacifist president to pull out at this point, so I'm not too worried about it. But Kerry voted against the FIRST gulf war. This hurts his credibility with me a lot. There were and are a lot of legitimate arguments against this current war, but Gulf War 1 was a no brainer. I'm a bit hawkish, and don't mind pre-emption in some cases (especially if the ruler of the invaded country has no legit claim to be ruler other than the sword), and while I don't want my president to go around bombing countries willy-nilly, I want someone who will not back down to Iran or North Korea should they act up. I'm not sure Kerry has it. I would like to see someone ask him. Especially North Korea, where Bush is open to a lot of criticsm. If Kerry would handle them drastically different then that's another plus in his column.

    By Blogger PaulNoonan, at 4:10 PM  

  • "gridlock is good"

    no, gridlock is terribly inefficient. i'm all about less laws, but i'm certainly not about paying a bunch of people to sit around and accomplish nothing.

    i do appreciate the out of the box, "pro-gridlock" position though-- i hadn't heard that one before

    By Blogger ahren, at 4:41 PM  

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