Chad Perrin: SOB

24 October 2006

Support liberty for fun and profit!

Filed under: Liberty,Metalog — apotheon @ 03:10

I hope to be able to launch a new liberty-oriented news analysis/commentary and opinion/editorial website by the end of this month — maybe even by the end of this week. Aside from the technical details of getting the site running, I also need a name and a logo for it. Technically, the logo can wait, and it will wait if it has to, but I can’t really publicly launch the site until a day or so after I have a name for it because I need to register a domain name.

I have some half-baked ideas:

  • The Torch: This suggests the torch held aloft by the Statue of Liberty as a logo. I love the imagery, but the name seems somehow lackluster to me.
  • Torch Magazine: I probably won’t use this one. It involves a funny entendre, though, so I wanted to mention it.
  • Torch and Bell: This combines both the “lighting the way, burning down the house” suggestions of the Torch and the “clear ring of liberty, sending a signal far and wide” suggestions of the Liberty Bell. It’s also kind of a lame name, I think, but maybe that’s just me. (edit: Actually, it’s really growing on me.)
  • something lighthouse-ish: This notion comes to mind because of a Thomas Jefferson quote, “Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the tempestuous sea of Liberty.” It would provide an easy logo idea (something to do with a simple lighthouse doodle), and provides an excellent opportunity to stick that quote prominently at the top of the homepage. It’s “guiding light of liberty” imagery is appealing. I just don’t have an actual name yet.
  • something foghorn-ish: This is much the same as the lighthouse thing, only stupider.
  • So, to recap, I need ideas for a name, a domain name, and a logo. All three should fit together easily and well. I need it soon. Whatever shall I do?

    I know! I’ll have a contest. All you need to win is have a Google AdSense account and give me the idea I’ll use. In exchange for the winning entry, I’ll give some percentage of advertising time on the website with your AdSense account — the ads will appear no more than 10% of the time, though just how much of the time they appear will depend on how useful your suggestion is. If you give me exactly what I end up using, you’ll get advertising on all article pages and the homepage about 9.8% of the time for . . . the first six months. If I feel like you haven’t been adequately rewarded and it looks like the money is about to start rolling in, I’ll extend it (at my sole discretion) for another six months. If you only offer something that provides inspiration or part of what I end up using, the percentage will be lower. There’s no guarantee that anyone will win, because if I come up with something better than all the suggestions in time to use it, and it’s not inspired by any suggestions, then I get the prize. Hah. Chances are good that someone will win something, though, since all my ideas are half-baked at best. In fact, the Jefferson quote was brought to my attention by someone else entirely (who might end up winning this thing, depending on how this little contest goes).

    I reserve the right to deny the prize to anyone I find to be acting unethically (claiming credit for someone else’s idea, spamming, et cetera), but the chances of that happening are pretty slim (I hope).

    Wanna make some money? Get to thinkin’! Also, you can make money by writing for the thing and, if you’re someone I know and trust, you might even be able to make some money by editing others’ writings. Beyond just trying to come up with a name, start thinking about stuff you might want to write, and let me know if you’re interested in helping out.

    It’ll be fun. I swear. Profitable, too.

    More information will be forthcoming.

20 October 2006

A Hint to the Anti-Bush Left

Filed under: Cognition,Liberty — apotheon @ 11:36

I see the Leftists in this nation, in the United States, saying a whole lot of things over and over again.

  • I see them saying the Bush administration condones torture. Good. Guantanamo Bay interrogators have been accused of use of waterboarding as a form of torture — a technique prosecuted as a war crime after World War II.
  • I see them calling Bush a liar. Good. He is a liar. Just a few days ago he said that the United States doesn’t engage in torture.
  • I see them calling Bush corrupt. Good. His administration’s involvement in corporate scandals makes the Clinton Whitewater scandal look positively benign by contrast.
  • I see them calling Bush an enemy of freedom. Good. Not since Roosevelt have we seen systematic unlawful detention of citizens that even begins to compare to what Bush’s administration has done, and not since Grant in 1870 has a US President suspended the power of a Writ of Habeas Corpus. Worse, Bush actually got such a suspension passed into law by Congress (turning a “suspension” into an “elimination”), only a few years after he signed the USA PATRIOT Act into law and his Department of Justice drafted the Domestic Security Enhancement Act (which thankfully never made it to a vote in the House).

There are dozens of further examples of these and other transgressions by the Bush Administration and its supporting Republican-dominated Congress. These could be powerful arguments against the Bush administration and the Congressional Republicans who have marched to its drumbeat. Unfortunately, the Left is full of wankers and nincompoops in this country — but then, I expect no better from people who actually think that theft and violation of one of the ten Amendments of the Bill of Rights make for good governmental policy.

The Democrats have a tendency to sabotage the effectiveness of their own message in a manner that comes off as perversely gleeful. Time and again, I have seen what starts off as a reasonable indictment of Bush policy degenerate into shrill complaints about the “international community” (or, worse, “world community”), for instance.

Here’s my hint to the anti-Bush Left in the United States: Don’t talk about the disapproval of the “international community”. Frankly, the Right doesn’t care and, as much as I disagree with the Republicans in government right now about almost everything, I agree with them that the opprobrium of the “international community” is meaningless in deciding right or wrong, no matter how unfortunate it may be that they disapprove. Right and wrong are independent of who approves or disapproves of them. If Stalin rose from the grave to grant his support to the Bill of Rights and express his disapproval of the Military Commissions Act, I’d agree with him. If Jesus’ Second Coming occurred and he brought with him a Holy Message of intolerance for people who question Bush’s policy, I’d question whether he was really the Savior, not my own beliefs on the subject of Presidential policy.

I don’t give a damn whether the “international community” disapproves of Bush. What I care about is the fact that Bush has done almost nothing in six years as President of which I can approve. In fact, at every turn he is weakening Constitutional protections of rights and liberties and attacking the foundation of what was intended to be a free society. That is what matters, not whether a bunch of Europeans and petty dictators in the UN disapprove of what he’s doing.

When you start talking about absurdities like the approval of the “international community”, you’re appealing to popularity and a false sense of authority, not to reason. Perhaps worse, even when you’re right you end up sounding like you’re wrong — and your audience starts yawning and looking for something else to do.

Sterling commented in The land of the free (soda upgrade) and the home of the brave (new world) about the apathy and willful ignorance of the United States electorate, and he’s right; a lot of people just can’t be bothered to care about the rapid erosion of the protections of their rights, as long as nobody has broken down their doors to haul them away to Guantanamo Bay (yet). I have a sneaking suspicion, though, that part of the reason they cannot be bothered to give a damn is that, simply put, many of the opponents of such violations of rights and liberties are boring them to tears with arguments that can at best be called facile and specious. Unless and until you drop the nonsense and start putting your arguments in terms about which the average citizen actually gives a damn, what you say will not only fall on deaf ears but will also make them ever more deaf to what you have to say in the future.

Every time I run across someone saying something with which I otherwise agree, but then that person says something about the disapproval of the “international community”, it becomes a real challenge to finish reading or listening with an open mind. I think the current state of politics here in the United States owes as much to the tendency of the Left to make enemies of its friends as anything else.

17 October 2006

end of an era

Filed under: Liberty — apotheon @ 10:29

Today was the day George W. Bush would sign the Military Commissions Act into law, eliminating habeas corpus for many and turning it into a mockery of itself for the rest. People can now be disappeared by the government with legal impunity on the streets of our cities, according to this law. Unless we see it overturned in court or repealed by Congress after the 7 November election, this day — 17 October 2006 — will likely be marked in history as the day that freedom died in the United States of America.

If we cannot rescue it in days to come, liberty will surely return in another form. I just hope it’s within my lifetime.

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All original content Copyright Chad Perrin: Distributed under the terms of the Open Works License