....LMB: "Nader the Destroyer"....

February 22, 2004

So apparently Ralph Nader is running for president. And this matters because...?

Seriously, who's going to vote for Nader? Most folks I know who voted for Nader did so because:

a) they felt that Gore and Bush were pretty much the same
b) they felt that Gore was definitely going to win
c) they wanted to help build a viable third party (the Green Party)
d) they truly felt that Nader was the best candidate

And really, those first three reasons are now gone. Pretty much everyone with mildly liberal credentials hates Bush more than they pine for a Third Party. On top of that, since Nader isn't even running as part of the Green Party, there is no party-building going on.

How many votes is Nader going to pull away from the Democratic party? How many independent-to-socalist voters are so fervently pro-Nader that they'll risk another four years of Bush insanity? Hell, without Green Party infrastructure, in how many states will he even get registered on the ballot?

Nader's main point seems to be that no matter which candidate takes the White House, corporations win. And he's right. But in this campaign, it seems that one corporate-backed candidate will engage in less war-monging than the other corporate-backed candidate. And that's the best I can hope for right now.

Posted by Jake at 04:39 PM | TrackBack (0)
Comments

Jake,
You surprise me, my friend. You site the fact that Nader is right (corporations win), and that 'Republican-lite' is the best we can hope for right now. This is how far our so-called representative democracy has fallen: we who pay attention and actually give a shit, are reduced to 'the best we can hope for'. Wow. Makes me proud to be an American. So, if Kerry wins (and I have my doubts pending the Diebold-sponsored voter fraud), we get to look forward to 4 more years of broad police powers in the name of the drug war and fighting terrorism, more media consolidation, more breaks for big business, more deregulation, no sane energy policy, really, all the same things that took place under Clinton/Gore? Then we on the 'left' get to exhale and say 'whew' for a little while as the country continues its slide to the right.

It's pretty sobering when Eisenhower's warning about the 'military-industrial complex' is a more radical statement than anything uttered by a Democrat for the past 50 years. Think about what that teaches us about voting for the lesser of 2 evils. That guy was a REPUBLICAN 5-STAR GENERAL, and he chose as his parting statement to the country to admonish us against the same take-over that Nader and Kucinich and Sharpton, etc are still talking about. Doesn't it seem that this is the right's whole strategy? While in office, they do something really horrible like escalate the Indo-China war, invade Afghanistan, Iraq, etc. (insert atrocity here________), then step away for 4 years or so, regroup and then return stronger than before.

You may blame Ralph's ego, the left, the Socialists or whoever else you'd like, but as long as we keep accepting that our only choice is to vote for these watered-down Republicans, this cycle will continue for another 50 years, until we all work at Wal-Mart for minimum wage and no benefits, with the occassional oil-war thrown in for good measure (you're next, Venezuela). 'That's the best we can hope for right now?' Wow. Maybe the rednecks are right - America: love it or leave it. All I can say is Canada is looking more and more appealing every day.

Posted by: DC at February 23, 2004 07:43 AM

That's pragmatism for you, DC. And when I say "right now," I mean right now. If you ask me, the Bush administration is outright sociopathic, and getting them out of power is an urgent matter.

As for breathing a sigh of relief if Kerry takes power, no. I'm turning all the same powers I've been using against Bush and turning them against the new guy as soon as he's inaugurated.

I think that the country's (and world's) problems go far deeper than who's sitting in a chair in Washington. I don't believe in representative democracy. I think that corporations, and to some extenet capitalism itself, are inherently harmful. I think that people need to realize that they themselves need to take concrete action to change their own lives and the world around them if we have any hope of making things better. I think that all of this is more important than who's president, and I'll keep my energies focused there.

Posted by: Jake at February 23, 2004 08:28 AM

I've given up on any "left" liberal opposition. They accept the framework of the profit system and as long as they do this, they will keep running in circles (it's like the sun and the moon). The Democrats are no less sociopathic when Madeline Albright says killing Iraqi children is worth it. They just have a nicer front and that's much more pathological.

If half the people would quit being "pragmatic" because the next person is doing the same thing and realize they need to break away from the Big Business parties, it would be a good start.

Posted by: Eric at February 23, 2004 12:25 PM

I think it might be good that Nader is running. He seems to be a little more pointed in his arguments than Kerry, and may end up playing the same role that Perot did in '92. especially if he drops out at the end, which is all I can really see him doing. He seems like a person who is intelligent enough to know that he cannot possibly win, and that although I hate to say it, I'm going to end up voting for Kerry simply because he's the lesser of two evils.

So in this scenario, Nader runs a pointedly anti-bush campaign, and *hopefully* draws some people away from Bush, then drops out and those people end up voting for Kerry. As I said before, much like Perot in '92.

Posted by: Jon at February 23, 2004 04:44 PM

You do realize that Kerry voted in favor of the war initiative, right?

Posted by: Eric at February 24, 2004 11:59 AM
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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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