Archive for June, 2004

Friday, June 18th, 2004

This is just a test of hello Posted by Hello

Democrats Shouldn’t Count On The Hip-Hop Generation

Wednesday, June 16th, 2004

Dan LeRoy writes that the Democrats lock on the hip-hop generation may be over. QUOTE:

John Kerry can claim to be “fascinated” by hip-hop. He can say he hopes to succeed Bill Clinton as our second “black president.” But despite the naked pandering, Kerry has failed to connect with voters in the hip-hop generation — that is, according to the guy who invented the term. Author and activist Bakari Kitwana’s take on Kerry’s candidacy should be a sobering one for Democrats: Not only does it suggest a loss in November, it also forecasts the defection of young black voters from the party they believe has long taken them for granted.

Abu Ghraib Gets Much Worse

Tuesday, June 15th, 2004

Christopher Hitchens writes that the photos and videos of the prisoner torture in Abu Ghraib will get much worse. Quote:

It is going to get much worse. The graphic videos and photographs that have so far been shown only to Congress are, I have been persuaded by someone who has seen them, not likely to remain secret for very long. And, if you wonder why formerly gung-ho rightist congressmen like James Inhofe (“I’m outraged more by the outrage”) have gone so quiet, it is because they have seen the stuff and you have not. There will probably be a slight difficulty about showing these scenes in prime time, but they will emerge, never fear. We may have to start using blunt words like murder and rape to describe what we see. And one linguistic reform is in any case already much overdue. The silly word “abuse” will have to be dropped. No law or treaty forbids “abuse,” but many conventions and statutes, including our own and the ones we have urged other nations to sign, do punish torture—which is what we are talking about here at a bare minimum.

Previously, Josh Marshall has made similar comments about the scandal.

Hawks Win Elections

Tuesday, June 15th, 2004

Tim Cavanaugh writes that:

“When U.S. troops are in the field, the candidate perceived as more hawkish always wins. If you can find an instance where this was not the case, let me know. Since I suspect somebody will raise the counterexample of 1968, when Johnson supposedly had his presidency destroyed by a war many times more controversial than the current one, let me show how this election demonstrates my thesis dramatically: We’ll never know how LBJ would have done in a general election, but in the event Nixon squeaked by Humphrey (at best a lukewarm antiwar prospect, but in style and substance clearly less hawkish than Nixon). Even in 1972, when public opinion had supposedly shifted decisively against the war and it was clear to all that we were going to lose, Nixon vivisected McGovern-just on the promise of losing it a little more slowly than McGovern would have.”

If this logic is correct, Kerry might not even have a chance. Kerry be able to make himself appear to be more of a hawk than Bush; Kerry has already suggested putting more troops on the ground while Bush is planning to reduce the number of troops in Iraq.

After Banning Guns, Australia Has Decided To Ban Swords

Friday, June 11th, 2004

In 1996 the Australian government instituted a large scale gun ban in order to reduce crime. To this day it is not clear if the gun laws actually reduced crime in Australia. Now, Australia has to decided to ban swords. The Australians have started down a never ending cycle of banning things. Banning guns has not solved the gun violence problem, there is no reason to think that banning swords will solve the swashbuckling problem.

The Doomsayers Have Always Been Saying Hip-Hop Is Dead

Wednesday, June 9th, 2004

Jeff Chang has a piece in the Village VoiceThe about Hip-Hop in Connecticut and Africa. Chang starts the piece off by writing:

he first reported death of hip-hop—and they’ve all been premature—came in the summer of 1979, months before “Rapper’s Delight.”

Recent reports of hip-hop’s death are no different than those of the past. Hip-Hop is alive and well. True talent will shine through the hip-pop.

Reagan’s Real Legacy: The Drug War

Tuesday, June 8th, 2004

Amy Phillips Reagan’s real legacy was a large expansion of the war on drugs including the creation of the ONDCP. Quote:

Reagan had good reasons to believe that the cultivation and sale of drugs abroad were a threat to US interests: he presided over one of the most turbulent periods of modern Colombian history, when dueling cartels ruled and violence was commonplace. The war on drugs also had an impact on his war on communism because the drug trade was used to bolster revolutions and communist governments both within Latin America and in the Soviet bloc. However, it was really Nancy Reagan’s “Just Say No” movement, a campaign to fight drug use among white, middle class teens, that shaped Reagan’s war on drugs. His constituents were families and other white-bread Americans who cared about national morality, and this was how he gave it to them.

In 1986, Reagan signed the federal “Anti-Drug Abuse Act,” the strongest appropriation of funds for the domestic drug war in the nation’s history. The bill appropriated $1.7 billion in new funds, included $97 million for new prisons, $200 million for education, and $241 million for treatment. The biggest part of the law, however, was the creation of mandatory minimum penalties for drug offenses, which have since been adopted in some form by most states. Long prison sentences for simple possession were unheard of before this statute became law. This was also the bill that created the huge disparity in sentences between crack and powder cocaine, which accounts for the widely disparate numbers of minorities and poor people currently incarcerated for drug offenses.

Hip-Hop Has Become Marketable

Monday, June 7th, 2004

Reuters reports that hip-hop culture has become an important marketing tool.

NEW YORK (Billboard) – Hip-hop culture is saturating the mainstream through music and marketing.

Companies have awakened to the genre’s selling power, and as rap stars pitch soft drinks, athletic shoes, apparel, automobiles and beer, cross-promotions are born almost daily.

“Companies are just realizing because it is contributing to their bottom line in a major way,” says Jameel Spencer, chief marketing officer of Bad Boy Entertainment.

World May Have Gas For 500 Years

Sunday, June 6th, 2004

Michael Fumento believes the world will not run out of oil any time soon. Fumento believes the world may have oil for another 500 years. Fumento points out that fears of oil running out have appeared before:

Let’s get a little historical perspective. In 1914, the U.S. Bureau of Mines predicted American oil reserves would last merely a decade. In both 1939 and 1951, the Interior Department estimated oil supply at only 13 years. “We could use up all of the proven reserves of oil in the entire world by the end of the next decade,” declared Pres. Jimmy Carter gloomily in 1977. In fact, the earliest claim that we were running out of oil dates back to 1855 — four years before the first well was drilled!

Link via Winds of Discovery

Ronald Reagan Dead From Pneumonia

Sunday, June 6th, 2004

Former US president Ronald Reagan died yesterday from pneumonia. This Reason interview is a good way to remember Reagan.