Sept 11 Dissent

'Death of Dissent' a myth: Refuting the doomsayers by Matt Welch

It was the first thing that caught my eye when looking for something to counter the claim that dissent is has been stifled because of the American government's reaction to September 11th.

“Newsrooms may have shut down their foreign bureaus, but individuals have learned how to scour the Internet for the latest news and opinion from the Middle East (and elsewhere), and then publish their findings online. A single Los Angeles Web designer and part-time musician named Charles Johnson ( attracts thousands of readers each week with his eagle-eyed watchdogging of the Arab and Israeli press.”

I'm a little disappointed that Welch didn't talk more about weblogging, because weblogs are a huge source of dissent (and even support) of American policies concerning terrorism and the military. Oh well, there has been a lot of dissent, but those who say it's being stifled either don't see it or are dissenters themselves and have something to gain (publicity) by saying it is stifled.

"You might think that an over-extended country, which spends far more of its gross domestic product on the military than any other major power, would react to a horrendously effective potshot by reconsidering its sprawling and occasionally heavy-handed engagement with the world. But you would be wrong."

This quote contains the problem I have with this article. I actually think that, for the size of it and the technology it possesses, the United States is under-extended militarily.


Watched Glitter DVD, and it was just as bad as expected.


Bush to UN: take on Iraq or I will

"The just demands of peace and security will be met, or action will be unavoidable. And a regime that has lost its legitimacy will also lose its power," [President Bush] told the annual debate of the UN General Assembly."

This has got to be the most telegraphed war in history. For at least 2 years now, Bush has said that deposing Saddam Hussein is priority number one when it comes to the United States' international security policy. And don't think Bush is doing it 'because' of Sept. 11. Like George F. Will says, "although the president's policy acquired special urgency with the terrorist attacks, the thrust of the policy was a campaign theme of candidate George W. Bush before the first primary of 2000."

Also, don't believe any numbers you read in the newspapers about the amount of troops near (or for that matter, in) Iraq. In fact, doubling it would be a safe bet.

An honest question

This sounds like I'm implying something, but I'd really like to know the answer to the following question, well, I haven't exactly read much Chilean history, if you know what I mean:

Why does it seem like the that Salvatore Allende's government was democratically elected was the only good thing about it? I mean, the Left goes on and on about it. Sure, democracy is a Good Thing, but sometimes democratic countries make mistakes when electing their governments. I mean, we elected Jean Chretien as Prime Minister for 3 straight terms for crying out loud.

What, other than that it was democratically elected, makes Allende's government so great to begin with? Kissinger, the thug that he is, surely did not base his decision to oust Allende solely on his (Allende's) reputation (such as it is) as a democrat.


Well, I made it until 10:30 before ending the Media Break.

I just bought a copy of the National Post, but I gotta watch a bad movie (it's Bad Movie Week at the place I'm crashing at) before I start reading it.

I have nothing poignant to say about it being one year later, except that the year seemed to go by really fast for me.

Media Break

Like Min Jung, taking Media Break, this September 11th. I'm going to withdraw and read a book or two. No e-mail, no TV, no nothin' (as best I can, in this heavily media saturated world).

Song obsession

Another song obsession.

Yeesh. Another sugary, ecstasy-influenced thug song that I'm obsessed with: Ja Rule's "Down 4 U". I actually have a problem with this review of the song, because the message isn't totally positive. Let's look at the lyrics:

[Ja Rule] Baby girl, would you bust your gun wit me?
[Ashanti] Yea, yea
[Ja Rule] Lie to the Feds if they come get me?
[Ashanti] Yea, yea
[Ja Rule] And if I died, would you kill for me?
[Ashanti] Yea, yea

Yeah, getting a woman to promise that she would shoot someone, commit purjury, or murder in revenge for your death is not sending a positive message.

And unlike the reviewer, I've pretty much always liked Ja Rule as a rapper (despite the fact that I own exactly zero of his CDs). I just like his flow and gruff (but not too gruff, like DMX) voice.

A mini-pet peeve I have with recent rap songs: they sample or steal choruses from other rap songs that aren't even that old. Like the new Bone Thugs'n'Harmony song that lifts an Outcast chorus. Or the Ashanti song that takes the beat from The Notorious B.I.G.'s "One More Chance (remix)" (that was a sample too, but still). I've heard at least two songs that bite the Luniz' "I Got 5 On It" beat. Here's a Usenet thread discussing rap songs that sound similar to other rap songs.

Prime Gig

Watched Prime Gig DVD.

A Musical Note

Just a note about the music I've been listening to lately. If you don't like the band Tool or hip-hop, you can skip this one.

In news that might please Pinder, I bought Tool's Lateralus the other day, after having heard it on 107.7 The End's top 107 albums weekend thing on the way up from the States. It sucks that they're not coming to Vancouver on their current tour. I would have gone for sure.

I saw N.E.R.D.'s phenomenal In Search Of... CD for 10 bucks at A&B sound today. Since my copy's in storage, I almost broke down and bought it. "Tape You", "Provider", and "Bobby Jones" are my favourite tracks. This review by W&A is spot on, even though if I see if for cheap, I'll probably by the original version of the album too.

Been listening to some really 'sugary' music lately. (My definition of sugary: music that I know is bad for me, but which I still like.) Call me crazy, but I'm likin' Nelly's "Hot in Herre", Cam'Ron's "Hey Ma", and Amelie's "Why Don't We Fall in Love (remix)", a song I've been particularly obsessed with lately, playing the MP3 over and over and over.

Vancouver's The Beat is pretty damn good. I didn't listen to it very much up until now, but now that I've had it on whenever the guys I'm crashing with are not paying attention, there's been some good stuff. And as creepy as I think he is, the new LL Cool J song is pretty head-bobbin' too. Portland's Jammin' 95.5 FM still kicks The Beat's butt though, but just barely.

Biggie Murdered Tupac?

L.A. Times Fingers Rival in Tupac Shakur's Murder Reuters

So it's true. Biggie did murder Tupac. Well, the Crips did, but wanted a piece of the action.

“[The Notorious B.I.G.], who was also in Las Vegas at the time, was brought into the picture after the Crips decided to make some money out of their plan [to murder Tupac]. Wallace agreed to give them $1 million, on one condition: he wanted the satisfaction of knowing that Shakur had been killed by his gun, and he pulled out a .40-caliber Glock pistol, the paper said.”