....LMB: "Just a Little More on the Recall"....

October 08, 2003

I'll keep this brief.

As a fellow who can see issues from many, many sides, I sometimes write from a point of view that I am holding at the moment, forgetting to try to incorporate that view into a larger whole, combined with all the other possibilities. I'm going to try to throw a few of the perspectives I've neglected in here.

1) Gray Davis should have resigned. I was reminded of this from Steve Gilliard this morning. If Davis had actually been concerned about California or his own political party, he would have quit the governorship before a special recall election was announced. This would have averted the recall, and put Bustamante in the governor's seat. The state would've saved $66 million, and the rest of the world would not be laughing at us. But no, Davis decided that he wanted to keep his job. Thanks a lot, fella.

2) I'm angry. I generally think that electoral, representative politics is a complete farce, so my anger at Schwarzenegger's victory confused some of my friends. If all election campaigns are about choosing which corrupt motherfucker is going to have power over you, does it really matter who gets into office? And I guess my answer is that I hate seeing people be tricked and manipulated. All election campaigns are that process, of course: lies, smears, misdirection, promises, plans, slogans, image, and illusion. But I felt that Schwarzenegger took shallowness to a new level. His campaign, quite honestly, was 90% movie quotes and promises to "clean up Sacramento". He said almost nothing about policy, barely even pretended to have a plan. His answers on the only debate he'd agree to go on (you know, the one where they agreed to give him the questions in advance, so he could just read pre-scripted answers?) sounded like someone's high school speech class homework. His answer for dealing with the California economic crisis was "we're going to open up all the books and audit everything." That's not a solution, that's Step One in actually understanding what the problem is.

What made me angry about Arnold's win is the contempt for the public behind his campaign. Other candidates built up their own illusions, making detailed plans, taking stances on policy, talking about their experience, etc. These are the steps one would think were necessary to convince voters to choose one candidate over another, because voters want to put someone in office who agrees with their own point of view and who will make their lives better. Scwarzenegger didn't even pretend to do that, didn't even pretend that voters would want to hear why he'd make a good governor. He just smirked for the cameras and said "hasta la vista, baby" for two months.

And he won.

I feel like California voters have been tricked by the most vulgar, obvious, transparent con job ever, and they don't even know it. It's revolting.

3) My main concern for California at this point is the budget. With such massive shortfalls, I fear that schools and health care might take huge hits. I'm also concerned about what right-wing economic strategies and cronyism we might see out of the Arnold administration

4) Now that Recall has proven itself a useful strategy, we will probably see it used in other states that have recall provisions in their constitution.

5) Senator Orrin Hatch has been talking publicly about an amendment to the U.S. Constitituion that would remove rule forbidding immigrants from running for president, if they have been citizens for 20 years. Schwarzenegger has appeared at some of Hatch's fundraisers, and became a U.S. citizen in 1983...

Posted by Jake at 08:58 AM | TrackBack (0)
Comments

I agree with you on all points, I think. I wondered what the hell we were voting for -- if all we can do is vote against the person who was getting most of the press, most of the exposure and most of the (cough cough - corporate) money.

Although, I don't believe that the huge turnout was because of people being "upset" about politics as usual. I think it's because Arnie is a familiar face - and familiarity is comforting in some way - added to the fact that a lot of the younger voters had no real reason to vote for him except that he was "cool". I had the pleasure of watching "people on the street" on a few stations and just felt absolutely hopeless about the whole situation. People LET themselves be manipulated by these jokers in so many ways - I kind of don't feel sorry for them at all. In fact, it gets me mad. I always feel like I'm the only person in my circle to know what's going on and have to explain things to people. These people also voted. That bothers me, a lot. They take in these lies and don't bother to find out what's real and what are lies. And really, sometimes it's just not very hard to hear the lies through all the spin.

Now we have a govenor who lies and lies out in the open too. "I didn't do it but I'm apologizing." And it makes me feel like people are just irresponsible and somewhat stupid.

I tried to comfort myself last night by saying "maybe he won't repeal all of the good measures that Davis signed on the way out" -- but that's not comforting enough. He just strikes me as a super-puppet; a bigger-than-reagan macho-puppet that's going to be used to fulfill greater ambitions for the shadows that march in line behind him.

(Orrin Hatch is an evil fucker. Along with the rest of them, anyway.)

Posted by: margaret at October 8, 2003 10:31 AM

As I recall, one of Arnold's idols ruled a country that he wasn't born in. Why does Orrin Hatch think that the Founding Fathers didn't know what they were doing? So, the son or daughter of Ahhhhnold will have to run, or even perhaps his wife. Big deal. I vote no.

Posted by: triple-e at October 9, 2003 06:45 AM

As I recall, one of Arnold's idols ruled a country that he wasn't born in. Why does Orrin Hatch think that the Founding Fathers didn't know what they were doing? So, the son or daughter of Ahhhhnold will have to run, or even perhaps his wife. Big deal. I vote no.

Posted by: triple-e at October 9, 2003 06:45 AM

As I recall, one of Arnold's idols ruled a country that he wasn't born in. Why does Orrin Hatch think that the Founding Fathers didn't know what they were doing? So, the son or daughter of Ahhhhnold will have to run, or even perhaps his wife. Big deal. I vote no.

Posted by: triple-e at October 9, 2003 06:46 AM

It will be interesting to see how the governor-elect handles the state's dispute with Enron ... and how the state and national media cover how that dispute is resolved.

Posted by: Lex at October 9, 2003 08:36 AM

i agree with you all the way. ignorance is also a choice, sometimes, after so long, and so much evidence offered to help a person get a clue

Posted by: barbara at October 10, 2003 12:18 AM

I am not sure why I agree with everything you write. I argue with everyone.

You are not for real. You must be a conservative plant sent to placate liberals into believing that others are out there fighting the good fight, so they (we) don't have to.

Posted by: Catherine at October 14, 2003 06:53 PM

Yeah I have to agree with Catherine on that one Jake At the risk of sounding stereotype teenage girlish "You corrupt me!" and if I knew how to do that in sign language and could in any way pose as jerry mcguire I would definately try. But anywho, I think Margret up there has the right idea. I was watching trl the other day on mtv (not for enjoyment, just so I know what the evil is so I can fight it) and one of the announcer tools on there in that 'must brainwash america's youth because they overpay my fuckass to' voice of his said that "your new governer of california is on the line!!!!" and all the people there fake freaked out and pretended as though it was like the second coming of jesus. And as Arnold spouted off with those movie quotes he calls talking, everyone laughed as though he was hilarious. Yet, in their faces, you could almost see their subconcious trying to fight through and say "what...noooo...what the blooming fuck?" But god forbid they fight against the norm and stick out (this is mtv afterall). So they clapped and cheered. And that is the reason people like Arnold get elected. Popularity and cool factor.

Posted by: Alyssa at October 17, 2003 12:56 PM
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Media News

November 16, 2004

Tales of Media Woe

Senate May Ram Copyright Bill- one of the most depressing stories of the day that didn't involve death or bombs. It's the music and movie industries' wet dream. It criminalizes peer-to-peer software makers, allows the government to file civil lawsuits on behalf of these media industries, and eliminates fair use. Fair use is the idea that I can use a snippet of a copyrighted work for educational, political, or satirical purposes, without getting permission from the copyright-holder first.

And most tellingly, the bill legalizes technology that would automatically skip over "obejctionable content" (i.e. sex and violence) in a DVD, but bans devices that would automatically skip over commericals. This is a blatant, blatant, blatant gift to the movie industry. Fuck the movie industry, fuck the music industry, fuck the Senate.

Music industry aims to send in radio cops- the recording industry says that you're not allowed to record songs off the radio, be it real radio or internet radio. And now they're working on preventing you from recording songs off internet radio through a mixture of law and technological repression (although I imagine their techno-fixes will get hacked pretty quickly).

The shocking truth about the FCC: Censorship by the tyranny of the few- blogger Jeff Jarvis discovers that the recent $1.2 million FCC fine against a sex scene in Fox's "Married By America" TV show was not levied because hundreds of people wrote the FCC and complained. It was not because 159 people wrote in and complained (which is the FCC's current rationale). No, thanks to Jarvis' FOIA request, we find that only 23 people (of the show's several million viewers) wrote in and complained. On top of that, he finds that 21 of those letters were just copy-and-paste email jobs that some people attached their names to. Jarvis then spins this a bit by saying that "only 3" people actually wrote letters to the FCC, which is misleading but technically true. So somewhere between 3 and 23 angry people can determine what you can't see on television. Good to know.

Reuters Union Considers Striking Over Layoffs- will a strike by such a major newswire service impact the rest of the world's media?

Pentagon Starts Work On War Internet- the US military is talking about the creation of a global, wireless, satellite-aided computer network for use in battle. I think I saw a movie about this once...

Conservative host returns to the air after week suspension for using racial slur- Houston radio talk show host (and somtime Rush Limbaugh substitute) Mark Belling referred to Mexican-Americans as "wetbacks" on his show. He was suspended for a couple of weeks, and then submitted a written apology for the racial slur to a local newspaper. But he seems to be using the slur and its surrounding controversy to boost his conservative cred with his listeners.

Stay Tuned for Nudes- Cleveland TV news anchor Sharon Reed aired a story about artist Spencer Tunick, who uses large numbers of naked volunteers in his installations and photographs. The news report will be unique in that it will not blur or black-out the usual naughty bits. The story will air late at night, when it's allegedly okay with the FCC if you broadcast "indecent" material. The author of this article doesn't seem to notice that Reed first claims that this report is a publicity stunt, but then claims it's a protest against FCC repression. I'd like to think it's the latter, but I'm not that much of a sucker.

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Jake's first attempt at homemade Mongolican barbecue:

Failure.

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