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Justin M. Stoddard


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Correction
April 11, 2003 — 6:15 pm

I believe I miss-spoke yesterday when I wrote the following: “As for me, I plan on watching the show, though I may have to travel to Iraq to catch it (I hear they are working on a society over there with all the trappings of free speech and such).”

What I probably should have said was “I hear they are working on a society over there with all the trappings of tolerance of free speech and such”

The distinction is important. My friend Brian pointed out to me that while Ms. Garofalo certainly has the right to free speech, we have the right to not listen to her by means of popular boycott.

Fair enough

I guess the problem I have is the overwhelming view on the right that any criticism of the war effort or foreign policy in general is un-American or un-patriotic. Liberals in Hollywood give aid and comfort to the Iraqi regime. Elected officials who refuse to stand of the pledge of allegiance are traitors to their country. People who speak out against the war while soldiers are engaged in combat should be charged with treason.

Granted, those are the most extreme views of the Right. However, I have noticed similar opinions coming out of the public as well.

Look, you may not appreciate what people like Janeane Garofalo or Martin Sheen have to say. Their arguments may come across as incredibly naive and distorted. However, that does not make them traitors or put them in bed with Sadam Hussein.

Let me take you back a few years to a quote from 6th President, John Quincy Adams:

Wherever the standard of freedom and independence has been or shall be unfurled, there will be America’s heart, her benedictions and prayers, but she goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator of her own.

Now, I get the feeling that if such a thing were said today, the orator would certainly be labeled as un-American by some sector of the Right. My guess is, they wouldn’t even begin to understand the sheer comedy coming out of their mouths.

— Justin M. StoddardComments (0)
Aid and Comfort
April 10, 2003 — 4:45 pm

Here is another boycott every red-blooded American will be sure to support.

Has anyone else noticed the phrase “aid and comfort to Saddam Hussein” has become the chic thing to say these days? As in “We do not wish to see the faces of liberal Hollywood, particularly those that provided aid and comfort to Saddam Hussein…”

My friend Dorian insists that such sentiments really aren’t chic, as that word conjures up feelings of sophistication and elegance. Maybe a more appropriate word would faddish.

As for me, I plan on watching the show, though I may have to travel to Iraq to catch it (I hear they are working on a society over there with all the trappings of free speech and such). Anyway, I’ve always thought Janeane Garofalo was a pretty darned good actress.

— Justin M. StoddardComments (0)
I Am Adrift
April 7, 2003 — 3:00 pm

I am adrift

I’ve spent my entire weekend being ill. In fact, I am so sick, I’ve been given 48 hours sick leave and now I am in a drug induced dream-land. Codeine, Sudafed, Amoxicilin, Robotusin.

The roaring pain in my throat and ears has not abated. However, because of these drugs, I no longer care. I’ve been watching the French Connection on DVD but can really make no sense of it. Will I even remember typing this?

I am adrift

— Justin M. StoddardComments (0)

For more good ol' fashioned ranting and raving, visit the archives!

Collision Course; Spirited Away
April 10, 2003 — 11:55 pm

I feel like I’ve been drowning for the last couple of weeks. Way too much stuff colliding into my schedule all at once. But things are starting to slow down. I think I’ll see about 10 movies this weekend.

Incidentally, I saw Spirited Away again with my parents while they were here. Go see this if you haven’t yet, and take your kids if you’ve got ‘em — it’s been rereleased in theaters after winning the Oscar for best animated feature of 2002. Of course, I thought it was the best movie released in the States last year, by any standard.

— Eric D. DixonComments (0)
Pyramid Schemes
April 9, 2003 — 11:55 pm

Check out these alternate logo designs for the Pentagon’s Information Awareness Office.

— Eric D. DixonComments (0)
In Favor of Winning
April 7, 2003 — 11:39 pm

Tom Palmer, who is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute and is also on the short list of smartest people I know, weighed in on his blog a few days ago with some comments that nicely sum up my own view:

I was not in favor of starting the war and I am very worried about the new doctrine of preemptive war that is being laid down. But for the life of me I cannot see how a realist (in any relevant sense of that term) could favor a negotiated settlement, a ceasefire, or anything less than the killing or capture of the leadership of the Iraqi state. After they’ve been attacked twice by the United States and the United Kingdom, to leave them in power would be suicide. Nonetheless, despite my opposition to starting the war, I received this note from an old friend in response to my call for unconditional victory as the next best solution, given that the war is already underway: “I am surprised by your heartfelt support of America’s latest war.”

Maybe I’m just getting older, but I see the world as a complex place, one in which principles guide us in making choices, but in which the problems are not clearly outlined like the colors on a “paint-by-numbers” set. We’ve entered a time of great danger to the values of liberty and peace. It might be nice if we always knew the right answers, but that’s not really possible.

— Eric D. DixonComments (0)
So Very Busy
April 6, 2003 — 11:47 pm

My parents are in town, and we’ve been having a great time — monuments and museums, favorite restaurants and movies . . . But that’s not the only thing occupying my time. I finally got everything moved out of my old apartment and finished cleaning it Monday night/Tuesday morning at 1:30 a.m. (I skipped work all day Monday for that very purpose, and spent much of last Saturday and Sunday doing the same), and spent all my free time (what free time?) the next day getting everything set up at my new place for my parents’ visit.

On top of that, I accidentally deleted the Common Sense email list last Sunday and ended up having to reconstruct it from a November backup — so I’ve been duplicating in a few days most of the list admin work I’ve done in the last few months, and I’m still not quite done. And I finished the May 2003 newsletter four days late. Not to mention that a coworker had a malfunctioning laptop that required immediate attention, of course, and I had a few time-sensitive pieces of freelance work that I normally have no trouble fitting into my schedule. Just too much stuff at once. Having my parents around has been pretty relaxing, in no small part because I’m technically on vacation — even though I’ve been trying to squeeze work into the small pockets of time that we’re not hanging out and doing stuff. So even though my parents’ visit is a nice break in one way, I still know that I’m falling behind with other stuff that I need to get done. At least I have a big TV.

— Eric D. DixonComments (0)

For more good ol' fashioned ranting and raving, visit the archives!


Eric D. Dixon


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