Alarming News: I like Morgan Freeberg. A lot.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: We were following a trackback and thinking "hmmm... this is a bloody excellent post!", and then we realized that it was just part III of, well, three...Damn. I wish I'd written those.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: ...I just remembered that I found a new blog a short while ago, House of Eratosthenes, that I really like. I like his common sense approach and his curiosity when it comes to why people believe what they believe rather than just what they believe.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is an intriguing guy...[he] asks great questions and answers others with style, flair, reason and wit. On the blogroll he goes. Make him a part of your regular blogospheric reading. I certainly will.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is brilliant.
Common Sense Junction: Misha @ Anti-Idiotarian never ceases to amaze me. He keeps finding other good blogs. I went over to A.I. this morning for my daily Misha fix and he had found this guy named Morgan Freeberg in Fair Oaks, California, that has a blog, House of Eratosthenes. Freeberg says its "The Blog That Nobody Reads" but it may now become the blog that everybody reads.
Jaded Haven: Good God, Morgan, you cover a topic from front to back with a screwy thoroughness I find mind boggling. I'm in awe of your thought proccesses, my friend, you're an exceptional talent. You start by throwing in the kitchen sink, tie in someone's syphilitic uncle, bend around a rip tide of brilliance and bring it all home in a neat, diamond dripping package of an exceptionally readable moment of damn fine wordsmithing. I love reading you.
Mein Blogovault: Make "the Blog that No One Reads" one of your daily reads.
Philmon: When Morgan meanders, stick with him - he's got a point and it'll be worth it in the end. He's not a hit-and-run snarky quip kind of guy. The pieces all fall into place like tumblers in a lock and bang! He's opened a cognative door for you.
Rightlinx: Morgan at House of Eratosthenes is one of the best writers out there. I read him nearly every day because he manages to provide an interesting perspective, even though I don't always agree.
Poetic Justice: Cletus! Ah gots a laiv one fer yew...
Okay, so I see that CNN has released a statement about the now-scandalized “YouTube Debate” that basically says CNN doesn’t understand what all the fuss is about. “The whole point of these ground-breaking CNN/YouTube debates is to focus on substantive questions of concern to real people and to throw open the process to a wider range of Americans all around the country. CNN cared about what you asked, not who you were. This was the case for both the Democratic and the Republican CNN/YouTube debates.” This is in response to revelations that democratic “plants” fairly well saturated CNN’s selection out of the YouTube questioners, who were supposed to be representative of the much-sought-after undecided Republican voter.
My local morning radio guys, yesterday, drew an interesting analogy which I think highlights the problem quite usefully. I think this because I see the problem as being not necessarily one of bad questions; I see the problem, rather, as one of asking questions that might appear useful, but only to someone who’s made up his mind that Republicans are terrible people, and looking for reasons to think so. The analogy drawn by the radio guys involved interviewing a famous athlete and having a non-sports-fan (like yours truly) come up with the questions to ask. No one would try such an absurd thing because nobody would want to watch it, and, well, that seems to be exactly what occurred here.
Of course it is hard to get much momentum behind criticism of debate questions for being too hostile, in an age where everyone seems ready to blame our various problems on too low of a bar imposed on presidential candidates. Right now, if you come up with new and improved ways to ask embarrassing questions — the zeitgeist will be kind to you (unless, of course, you’re asking the embarrassing questions to a female candidate). But there could be a downside to embarrassing candidates just for the sake of embarrassing candidates. One thing I can think of is that in an environment where embarrassment is easy, the specimen that is left standing is the loathsome, slick, oily kind. So regardless of party leanings, I would hope we can all agree the “embarrassment for embarrassment’s sake” just might not be the magic bullet that instantly solves our national woes.
But in addition to that, there is a difference between embarrassment and inspection. David Kerr’s question (embedded) fails to inspect — or, at least, it fails to make inspection a priority over embarrassment. His primary purpose is to preach at anybody listening “you shouldn’t vote for these guys.” It makes wonderful sense if you’ve already decided not to. You could enlighten and scrutinize, every bit as productively, by asking “If you are sworn in as President, what if anything do you plan to do about the standing policy with regard to homosexuals serving in the military?” And of course, that isn’t what he asked.
This language about the situation being “the case for both the Democratic and the Republican CNN/YouTube debates” is particularly tragic, in my view. It seems to me fair to say David Kerr, LeeAnn Anderson, David Cercone and “Journey/Paperseranade” are just about as ready to vote for a Republican as I’m ready to vote for a democrat…we all have our little biases. And yet, if those questions were chosen and the objective really is to uphold symmetry between the two parties in the YouTube debate forum, I would respectfully offer these beauties for the next democrat event.
1. The Republican party was formed just before the Civil War for the express purpose of ending slavery in this country; being a dedicated democrat, do you think this was a bad thing?
2. If America is ever put under a national healthcare system and I use my personal finances to acquire specialized services not available to everybody else, how do you think I should be punished and what should happen to my doctor?
3. How much money, if any at all, do democrats think I should be allowed to keep every year?
4. Do you think there is some solid evidence worth checking out that 9/11 was an inside job?
5. If George Bush is such a freakin’ idiot, how come he continues to get his way whenever he faces off against your representatives in Congress and his dismal approval ratings run twice as high as theirs?
6. If the global warming movement fails to destroy the American economy, what do you want to try next?
7. Speaking of global warming, what do you drive?
8. How many Americans should die so that we can say America doesn’t use torture, including the infamous “waterboarding”?
9. How many little kids should be kidnapped, slaughtered and left in a field somewhere, so we can say America doesn’t allow a death penalty?
10. As blogger friend Phil points out, you need a license in the United Kingdom just to watch TV. When, in your view, should we get such a policy going here in the United States, and how big of a commission should we set aside for the busybody cops who ring the doorbells and pass out the fines?
11. When did you decide that terrorists are more deserving of these things you call “civil liberties” than, say…Republicans?
12. In what year, exactly, did the Second Amendment lose all of it’s potency and value for keeping a potentially oppressive government in check, assuming you think it ever had any in the first place?
You know, I could keep on adding to such a list all day long but I think the point is made. Questions put to candidates can be revealing, and they can be hostile; there is overlap between those two, but they’re not synonymous.
And, since we’re still in “primary” mode and Republicans are supposed to be sniffing out Republicans and donks are supposed to be sniffing out donks, the question that’s designed to open one side to inspection and appeal sympathetically to the other, it seems to me, could be postponed for awhile. But if we live in an information age and we want the political parties to reach across the aisle right-freakin’-now, it doesn’t seem to be too much to ask that the burdens imposed on them in this regard be somewhat equal. In which case, the twelve questions above or some facsimile thereof, could be seriously considered for the next go-round…and speaking for myself, I’m definitely not holding my breath waiting for that to happen.
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