Nothing like blogging from an airport bar while waiting for your flight that's been delayed by
2 THREE hours. I hold American Airlines personally to blame, and if they had any profits whatsoever, I'd probably sue their keisters for the damage to family life, my cholesterol level (mmm, bacon cheddar cheeseburger), and for the incremental liver damage (mmm, Samuel Adams....)
but, I digress...
It seems that Jonah has commented on the Google "controversy" which has been the subject of a few posts here.
Robert Kuttner, writing about a different controversy in the Boston Globe, shows serious symptoms of the affliction when he writes, "Google plus Dick Cheney is a recipe for undoing the liberties for which the original patriots of the American Revolution bled and died."
On the narrow point about Dick Cheney, this is all a bunch of nonsense. The Department of Justice is in a lawsuit with the ACLU over the Child Online Protection Act, which is designed to help prevent kids from being exposed to online porn. The law ran afoul of the First Amendment, according to a lower court, and the Supreme Court asked for additional information pending its final decision on the matter. The Department of Justice asked Google, as well as MSN, Yahoo!, and Time Warner (AOL's parent), to provide data on their search engines from a one-week period. (The Associated Press scarily refers to the request as a "White House subpoena," as if the White House could actually issue subpoenas.) No personal information was asked for and none has been given. Everyone but Google complied, because there's really no reason not to. Google, however, sees itself in a very idealistic light and has decided to stand on principle against the government, prompting huzzahs from all the predictable sources.
But the same crowd celebrating Google's decision has generally been quiet about, for example, public health surveys that ask doctors to report all sorts of really private information (anonymous, of course) for epidemiological purposes. If you're going to consider it a grotesque infringement on personal liberty for the government to find out that some anonymous person Google-searched "lesbian love goats," you'd think you'd also be upset by the National Institutes of Health cataloging how many people fitting your description have had prostate exams in the last year. The intrusion is at least as serious, but because no one imagines that Dick Cheney cares about your prostate — yet! — the First Amendment thumpers don't offer a peep.
Technology brings change and requires adaptation — by the state and the individual alike. It's not obvious how we should view Google searches, for example. Are they like letters or diary entries or something else entirely? It's revealing that no sane person would condone local libraries giving stacks of hardcore porn to little kids. But some Internet voluptuaries see nothing wrong with pretty much the exact same thing over the web.
This is a subject worth arguing about. But it's difficult to take people seriously when their core argument is, "If Dick Cheney's for it, I'm against it."
And I think this argument is valid. Those that champion Google's refusal to provide this information have not said word one about Google's obsequiousness regarding the requirement by the real big brother state in China requiring it to restrict freedom of information to its users. It's almost as if the "do no evil" twerps are actually doing evil in China and championing their own refusal to stop evil in the US. (And, this blog is hosted on google... )
Fight the power, indeed.
But back to the issue at hand.... those that are cheering Google are also the very same groups that declare that there's a right for individuals to view pornography in a public library... I don't know about the libraries in NYC, but the libraries in my neighborhood have a heck of a lot of children and influencable youth - and I think it's wholly appropriate for local jurisdictions to decide what sexual content is available for viewing at the local library.
Ultimately, the reporting on the oogily googlely issue have been disingenous: characterizing it as Big Brother watching every touch of the keyboard as you visit Google. It's obvious that bald-faced partisanship is the reason for this - either that or the term "journalist" really doesn't apply anymore. It's understandable that this ridiculous and breathless reporting - when taken at face value - would cause many on both sides of the aisle to scream bloody murder. While some on the Right would choose to run to the hills of Montana with their shotguns and escape "the net," those on the Left sit down to make their papier mache dollheads of Bush/Cheney/Hitler, all the while calling for more Federal involvement in our healthcare. Me, I'm still waiting for the "subpoena" from Chimpy W. McBushitler. Apparenlty the MSM sees the FBI and the Justice Dept as just another neocon (aka Rovian) Conspiracy. So much for "context" and "facts." (Scare quotes intended.)
This whole story reminds me of the reporting on another, related issue... If you just read the headline and take the "reporters" take at face value, you're likely not informed. Or perhaps you're just Oliver Willis (who, frankly, cannot go a single day without making a post that has some logical fallacy that is just astounding).
Oh, and check out this great post from our good friend, Jim Hoft aka Gateway Pundit. It seems that the Dems were for supporting the WOT before they were against it. (And they wonder why the public doesn't take them seriously?)
By the way, Another Rovian Conspiracy is looking for someone with somewhat decent skills in Flash. We've put together a concept for an ad that we'd like to run on this site and the rest of the blogosphere. However, we don't have the experience with flash - nor the software package..... or the artistic abilities, frankly.
Heck, I'd pay to have this ad developed. Anyone interested, who can demonstrate their bona fides as being sympatico with the Rovian conspiracy (don't worry, there's only one goat involved), just send an email to rovianconspiracy - at - charter . net. (To the perennially unemployed Eric Blumrich - no need to apply)
ARC: St Wendeler