Monday, September 06, 2004

Evan's Mental Rodeo
from the mind of  Evan Kruse.

Natural Disasters: Florida has been getting hammered, no doubt. I think that the loss of property in that state is truly staggering. Much of the same has been happening over here in Japan. As I enter into my last few weeks here, Ma Nature is sure giving me a splendid show. For the past month, we have had one typhoon per week... and more are in the works. But, assault from the sky is not all that's been happening. About a week ago, Mt. Asama began erupting. It didn't really cause much damage to the surrounding areas other than ash coating everything in sight. But... I should have connected the dots in my head and realized that earthquakes would follow the red-hot magma. So, in between the third and fourth typhoons were a series of three earthquakes. The first and last quakes were not much to speak of, but the second one really shook for a long time. It shook for so long that I had time to take all of our wine bottles down from the shelf and place them safely on the floor. That job took roughly a minute.

Having so many natural disasters around me has prompted me to think about loss of property and life. The damage in Florida is said to be many billions of dollars. It really is sad to see so much money have to be spent to get things back to normal rather than be spent on capital improvements and recreation. I realize that insurance money and FEMA money will help with the recovery, but money will still come from people's private pockets and businesses are having to deal with lost revenues. But... our economy is going quite well even though we've been constantly recovering from disasters. I just hope that once the disasters are over, people will be civil and not participate in scams to make the loss of money in the area even worse. I hope our men in blue can be heroes once again by restoring order and preventing people from being leeches to the recovery effort.

The Media and Kedwards Imitate 'The Party': I was watching 'This Week with George Stephanapolous' on Monday (Japan is the better part of one day ahead, so it is shown Monday afternoon) when representatives from both the Bush-Cheney and the Kedwards campaigns appeared to talk about the effectiveness of the RNC and the status of the campaigns. A defining moment of the debate was when both representatives presented a 'prop' for people to see. First, the Bush guy showed the President's plan for the the economy, a document widely available to the public outlining what steps he will take in the next four years to keep the economy going strong. As the rebuttal, the Kedwards guy showed his 'prop' which was a document outlining some 144 lies, misrepresentations, and half-truths from the RNC. I was intrigued by each article, and found both later that day. The Bush document was a good read, but the Kedwards document was laughable. It was merely 144 quotes from the convention that the Kedwards camp claims to be a lie or a misrepresentation. They didn't give any proof of the lie, they didn't explain how the context was wrongly placed, they didn't do anything but say to the public These quotes are lies... trust us! Now, I didn't have time to tear things apart at that moment, and I figured that the document would be available today for a roughing up, but the Kedwards camp had to go and get Orwellian on us. They employed their speakwrite staff to remove this embarrasing document from their official campaign website, just as 'the Party' would have done in the story described by 1984. But, such activities are really on par for today's media. When the print media was the main source of news, a media outlet would be forced to produce a final version of the story every time they printed. Once delivered to the public, there would be no way to take back what they say other than a correction or retraction. Even if one of these were printed in a later edition, the earlier edition was still in existence. Now, since so much news is electronic and non-permanent, rather than having to own up to an error, whether by mistake or by malice, a media outlet can just change the article and let it set as though there were never any errors, regardless of how many people viewed an incorrect version. This is extremely unethical. I firmly believe that there should be the same permanence in the electronic media as there is in the print media. One thing that helps with this a little is's wonderful casche. But, I believe that our media owes us more. They owe it to the readers to mark an article that has been corrected or edited after the initial publication. Either a link to the original document or a note showing the changes made should be available. Failure to do this should result in the minimum punishment of losing readers and letters being sent to advertisers associated with the media outlet. Lost revenue should be able to speak to these editors who are not doing their job. Power Line has good commentary on the media's use of the speakwrite to fix their blunders without a trace. Perhaps 'blunders' is too innocent of a word...

Flip-Flop3 How many times has Mr. Kerry changed his mind on the Iraq War? I've lost track, but I think he's accomplished at least 1080° so far. I'm sure that the Guinness book will now have Kerry's name under the 'Most Indecisive Man Alive' record.

Stoke the Fire: Now that the President has a good lead in all of the reputable polls, many conservatives might feel victorious already. That is a very dangerous feeling as there is still almost two months until the polls close. First, we must keep the eye on the ball and be sure to win this thing. There is always the chance that someone has a trick or two up their sleeve just waiting for a chance to pounce. The chances of this are not probable, but they are possible. The other reason why it is dangerous to have the feeling that 'we've won, so now we can relax' is that this election will be much more meaningful if it is a landslide victory for the Conservatives. One of the most amazing things that could happen in addition to having W in office for another four years is to have the angry left become disinfranchized from a viable party. Now, I'm not saying that the Democratic Party should crumble, but if a landslide victory by GWB were to happen, then perhaps they would reassess their political position and abandon the angry-left platform that they've been pushing. If this were to happen, there would be a lot less stonewalling and fillibustering in congress and we could make some real progress in this country. So... Stoke the Fire. Voulenteer and Donate. Spread the word... make GWB a landslide victor... Oh, there would also be a fringe benefit. It would muffle all of the idiots who say that Bush is a false president.... I find nothing more annoying than that claim.


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