Archive | May, 2009

A fight’s a fight

27 May

You’ve probably heard all about Sonia Sotomayor by now. She’s the Bronx-rasied hispanic judge who Obama has nominated as his first appointee to the Supreme Court.

If like me you first read about her in The New York Times, you may also know that — from the comments posted there by liberal readers — the left aren’t particularly taken with her. The grassroots left, whose activism had propelled the young Chicagoan outsider to the presidency, were hoping for a nominee who would be guaranteed to further their cause (not to mention piss off the GOP).

Sotomayor isn’t an activist judge. She’s a champion of judicial process. To the polarised partisan her judgements might appear ambiguous (and so could be “shaped” to fit any desired narrative), but this is because they’re nuanced. A judge shouldn’t seek to push an agenda.

This doesn’t mean Sotomayor won’t be a liberal judge. No one is completely objective (even if, invariably, prejudiced myopia is a conservative trait). But it may mean that she will be a floating vote on close judgements. And surely, this is what we should really expect from Obama. He’s never claimed to be an activist liberal, he has always championed merit, fairness and common-sense.

To me Sotomayor is the perfect Obama choice. She has risen from humble origins to the brink of the highest court in The United States. She is smart — she graduated second in her Princeton class, and was an editor of the school’s law review. And Sotomayor appears to put reason and pragmatism ahead of culture-war politics.

Of course just because Sotomayor isn’t a rabid baby-eating liberal, it doesn’t mean that the Republicans will accept her with fair-minded acquiescence. In reality, the GOP is probably livid that they don’t have an activist judge they can easily paint as a “jackbooted feminazi”.

The Republican Party is in complete disarray. Rovian conservatism is built on the politicisation of religion. The GOP needs a Supreme Court fight to energise and unite its base — not to mention invigorate its fund-raising efforts.

The right thing for the Republicans to do would be to take the high-ground and embrace the new political atmosphere. Obama could have nominated a much more threatening judge (or Democrat politician) to the SCOTUS. He didn’t. But to a desperate GOP a fight’s a fight, and boy do they want a fight.

People are jealous of my house!

21 May

Conservative MP Anthony Steen is a cock-munch.

He’s a fucking moron.

He should be bum-raped by an angry donkey.

You have to listen to this. You have to. Seriously.

Grrrrr! I’m fucking livid. I hope his thieving hands fall off.

And his dick. I hope that drops off too.

Blogging every day

19 May

I suppose I shouldn’t write this. And I certainly wont be linking to the post that prompted this — after all, the blogger in question is someone I admire and someone I don’t (and this is a first for me) want to offend.

But, seriously, why blog if you’re just going to post noise?

Why blog if what you write is just pointless drivel? Even if it’s witty and concise, what’s the point of taking time out of your day to write the sort of rat-spit that makes people mutter “huh” or “heh”?

Isn’t there enough noise in the blogosphere and on the internet in general?

That’s what twitter is for: the idle, inane mutterings not worthy of a considered 200-word blogpost.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve done it. In the past I blogged regularly. Two or three times a day at the height of my “powers”. But then I decided that my time is worth more than nothing. I blog when there is something I really want to say. I’m not beholden to some idea of daily blogging. In these days of RSS and group-blogs, is there really any room for the pointless daily crowing of the bedroom-bound blogger?

Everyone deserves a voice. This is a not a rant about quality. If you want to blog every day that’s fine. It’s your life and your time. But don’t be deluded into thinking that, just because you post every 6-hours, that people are going to give a smelly wet turd as to what you have to say. Chances are they don’t.

This is not the era of rampant bloggery. Now everyone, from the most respected commentator to the funniest comedian, blogs. If you have a post that really rocks, it will – if you alert the editors of larger blogs – be registered. It will gain traction, but don’t think that you will pierce the upper echelons of the UK’s blogosphere by following it up with random rants that offer no new insight.

Cream will rise. If you’re a great writer with something exceptional to say, you will be recognised. Blogging, unlike the MSM, is not a closed shop. But if you write a post that says nothing new — no matter how many swear-words you use — people will ignore it.

My advice is that you blog when you can’t not blog. When you have an itch so irritable it must be scratched, you fire-up your computer and you rant away. But please, if you value your time, don’t just blog for the sake of it. People simply will not care.

the irregular photo of the day

19 May

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…decisions…, originally uploaded by _Beat_???.

Yay! The Story of Stuff makes The NYT

11 May

I just received an email alerting me that Annie Leonard’s wonderful 20-minute animation, The Story of Stuff, made The New York Times’ front page. I first mentioned Annie’s work, briefly, in 2007.

It appears that the video has become a hit in America’s classrooms, where teachers are using it to convey the basic law of economics: that finite resources are just that, finite. And that our rabid consumerism is accelerating the use of our planets limited resources.

Watch it here. Really, you should. It’s excellent.

It’s not a party thing

11 May

So the PM apologies?

I’m sorry, but… I’m not interested in politicians cleaning up their act.

I want them to be held accountable – as criminals, where necessary. If the general public dodge tax, or try to fiddle benefits, they get hammered (this government even screened ads demanding we turn each other in, if we suspect wrongdoing).

And please, don’t allow them to hide behind technicalities. These are our elected leaders. They, supposedly, serve at our pleasure.

Why should politicians be allowed to say sorry, promise to do better, and keep their ill-gotten loot? If they do, why shouldn’t future politicians not be allowed to wet their beak? No, no, NO! Every claim that can’t be justified as wholly legitimate should be paid back. I don’t give a runny shit whether it costs £10m to investigate and claim back £500,000 – I WANT IT BACK.

Why are they so special, and why are their proposals so clearly designed to allow much of this to continue?

It’s not just Labour. Our politics – all of it – is broken.

Recommended reading

11 May

Brooker, in The Guardian ::

[Gordon Brown] is a man apparently allergic to luck.