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"It is better to be drunk with loss and to beat the ground, than to let the deeper things gradually escape."

- I. Compton-Burnett, letter to Francis King (1969)

"Cynical realism – it is the intelligent man’s best excuse for doing nothing in an intolerable situation."

- Aldous Huxley, "Time Must Have a Stop"

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Monday, 12 July 2004

Topic: Election Notes

Let us not be paranoid...

Clear Channel Communications, fair and square, purchased the rights to billboard space in Times Square in Manhattan. It is not public space. It is commercial space. They own it.

Note this -
Antiwar Group Says Its Ad Is Rejected
Raymond Hernandez and Andrea Elliott, The New York Times, July 12, 2004
A group of antiwar advocates is accusing Clear Channel Communications, one of the nation's largest media companies, with close ties to national Republicans, of preventing the group from displaying a Times Square billboard critical of the war in Iraq.

The billboard - an image of a red, white and blue bomb with the words "Democracy Is Best Taught by Example, Not by War" - was supposed to go up next month, the antiwar group said, and it was to be in place when Republicans from across the country gathered in New York City to nominate President Bush for a second term.

... Last night, the president and chief executive of Clear Channel, Paul Meyer, said the company had objected to the group's use of "the bomb imagery" in the proposed billboard. Mr. Meyer said Clear Channel had accepted a billboard that would replace the bomb with a dove.

... Told of Mr. Meyer's comments, [Project Billboard spokesman Howard] Wolfson said that earlier, Clear Channel had rejected the ad with the dove as well as the one with the bomb, demanding that the words be changed, too. "It's news to us, and not reflected in any prior communications between Clear Channel and Project Billboard," Mr. Wolfson said last night. "This contradicts Clear Channel's demand that the copy be changed."
So the dove won't do either? It's confusing.

But this is America. The marketplace decides. You buy what space you want, to show what you want. If the protestors want to put up a billboard embarrassing the President Bush, they should buy their own media company. There's no free lunch. It seems the left doesn't believe in capitalism.

Another example? The end of the weekend here in Los Angeles.

Adelphia Glitch Cuts Out Kerry Interview in Los Angeles
Los Angeles Times, July 12, 2004
A technical glitch at Adelphia Communications Corp.'s Santa Monica facility left 70,000 subscribers without service for about 2 1/2 hours, blacking out CBS' "60 Minutes" interview with Sen. John F. Kerry, a company spokeswoman said.

The lack of programming left some subscribers wondering if the socially conservative company had pulled access to a program featuring the Democratic presidential candidate. The Adelphia official said the glitch had nothing to do with politics.
Just an accident.

But if the folks who hate America so much they want Bush out of office want their guys to appear on national television, on CBS of all things, well perhaps they should buy their own cable company. There's no free lunch. It seems the left doesn't believe in capitalism.

You have no right to what you don't pay for. You have a problem with that? Get off your fat ass and get a job. Accept personal responsibility. There is no clearer definition of America than that, or so my conservative friends say.

My friends on the left? Some advice - the "public airwaves" will be increasingly closed to you, and the "public spaces" too. Guess what? They never were public. All "open forums" in the real world have owners. And they book the halls and divvy up the airtime. They purchased that right. They have control, and copyright, and a cut of the popcorn concession. Get over it.

You want a forum? Buy your own.

Are you poor lefties feeling paranoid? You saw this on CNN?
U.S. officials have discussed the idea of postponing Election Day in the event of a terrorist attack on or about that day, a Homeland Security Department spokesman said Sunday.

... The department wants to know about the possibility of granting emergency power to the newly created U.S. Election Assistance Commission, authority that [DoJ spokesman Brian] Roehrkasse said was requested by DeForest B. Soaries Jr., the commission's chairman.

Soaries, who was appointed by President Bush, is a former New Jersey secretary of state and senior pastor of the 7,000-member First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens in Somerset, New Jersey.
Well, I just saw Soaries on television, an MSNBC interview.

He seems a pleasant fellow.

But you don't want a Baptist minister with emergency authority over your elections?

Well, according to Newsweek, Tom Ridge also wants John Ashcroft to look into the possibility of postponing the election in case of a terrorist attack.

Would Ashcroft find this a problem - like it might be, say, unconstitutional? Don't think so.

An interesting comment over at Hullabaloo -
But constitutionality aside, why would there be any need to do this? We lived under the threat of nuclear war for decades - real weapons of mass destruction pointed at all of our major cities - and nobody ever contemplated suspending elections and devised no plans to do so. We have held elections during every war, including the civil war, and didn't contemplate suspending them in case of an attack.

This is absurd. Unless the terrorists are somehow able to prevent large numbers of people from exercising their right to vote by bombing individual polling places there can be absolutely no reason to postpone this election.

Besides, if I recall correctly, the Bush administration made quite a case a few years back that there should be no changing of the rules, even when certain rules are contradictory, in election procedures. I remember that deadlines, particularly, were sacrosanct. Indeed, the dates surrounding election laws were seen as written in stone.

Somehow, I have to believe that if terrorists attack us around the election, Americans will crawl out of the rubble on their hands and knees to vote. But then, that's obviously what they're really afraid of, isn't it?
Well, yes. Such an attack might make some folks, a few, maybe many, think that Bush and his foolish war brought this down on us all. They might blame him. And get really angry. And not vote for him.

This now makes sense. There's a big attack in early November. This could be the final straw that turns the solidly Bush folks against him. Canceling the election then makes perfect sense.

But marshal law would be easier. And no one would have to die.

The idea is this - just after Labor Day the administration declares marshal law and just cancels the elections indefinitely, and heck, Bush can declare himself president for life, supported by the army. His wife, Laura, can even change her name to Eva if she wants. And al-Qaeda thus has no reason to attack. We can go on as usual. The stock market soars. Osama bin Laden gets all grumpy.

This could work.

Posted by Alan at 18:41 PDT | Post Comment | Permalink

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