— Jonathan Coulton writes a smart post about MegaUpload, SOPA/PROTECT-IP, Copyright, and being an artist amongst pirates. Grab a cup of coffee on this snowy/rainy Saturday and make this your morning read. (via spytap)
We don’t have a draft anymore; less than 0.5 percent of Americans over 18 serve in the active-duty military. We do not declare war anymore; the last time Congress actually did so was in 1942 — against Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania. We don’t buy war bonds or pay war taxes anymore. During World War II, 85 million Americans purchased war bonds that brought the government $185 billion; in the last decade, we bought none and instead gave the richest 5 percent of Americans a tax break."
I am at this point not sure how someone would tell the satiric candidates apart from the sincere ones. If you asked me whether the Republican Party would be better off in the hands of Stephen Colbert, or Ron Paul, or Rick Santorum, or Newt Gingrich, or Mitt Romney, I hardly think Colbert’s would be the first name you would cross off the list. Nonetheless, if the entire point of your political pundit life is to pretend not to notice which of those candidates are profoundly silly or which of their ideas is goddamn disastrous, you probably have no basis to start now.
No, if history is to be any guide, the objective nature of modern punditry would seem to demand you treat the intentionally silly, inane and satiric candidate as the absolute equal to all the others. I’m dead serious here: If the point of punditry is to treat even the gigantic assholes and the outright morons as if they were truly worthy of consideration, equal in abilities and stature to all the others, than it would be incumbent upon you to treat a free-range chicken decked out in sensible business attire as if it, too, were presidential material.
That, of course, is yet another aspect of our discourse that Colbert is openly mocking. The notion that even the most ridiculous of candidates can run for office and, somehow, be treated as if they are sane and credible by a press corps that seemingly cannot tell the difference unless and until you beat them over the head with it. No, it’s all about process questions now."
Patrick Michaels is a serial deleter of inconvenient data."