Politics: December 2003 Archives

Clayton Cramer links to an amazing speech by bestselling author Michael Crichton to the Commonwealth Club of San Francisco, on September 15, 2003. Crichton says that modern environmentalism is a religion, the "religion of choice for urban atheists". Here are a few choice quotes:

There is no Eden. There never was. What was that Eden of the wonderful mythic past? Is it the time when infant mortality was 80%, when four children in five died of disease before the age of five? When one woman in six died in childbirth? When the average lifespan was 40, as it was in America a century ago. When plagues swept across the planet, killing millions in a stroke. Was it when millions starved to death? Is that when it was Eden? ....

How about the human condition in the rest of the world? The Maori of New Zealand committed massacres regularly. The dyaks of Borneo were headhunters. The Polynesians, living in an environment as close to paradise as one can imagine, fought constantly, and created a society so hideously restrictive that you could lose your life if you stepped in the footprint of a chief. It was the Polynesians who gave us the very concept of taboo, as well as the word itself. The noble savage is a fantasy, and it was never true. That anyone still believes it, 200 years after Rousseau, shows the tenacity of religious myths, their ability to hang on in the face of centuries of factual contradiction....

Howie Carr, scourge of hacks


Looking for some other stuff on the web, I came across something about Howie Carr.

Howie Carr is a favorite of mine. Howie is a columnist for the Boston Herald and a radio talk show host. Oddly, I don't remember reading him during my time in college. I became aware of him a couple of years later, during the 1988 presidential campaign. Howie was doing the rest of the country a great service by telling the truth about Michael Dukakis' maladministration of Massachusetts, at a time when PeeWee (as Howie calls him) was running on a platform of "competence, not ideology". Howie exposed the reality behind the "Massachusetts Miracle", called attention to the frantic financial fudging that was going on to avoid Massachusetts showing a deficit a month before the election. A friend bought me a mail subscription to the Herald, and I had a great time reading Howie's hilarious dissections of Bay State politics.

Howie's central focus is on government corruption and cozy deals, reporting things that the political "hacks" (a favorite word) would just as soon keep quiet. Howie doesn't just talk about what other people report. He does his own digging and comes up with the documentation. He regularly calls attention to ex-legislators and relatives of politicians who have landed cushy high paying jobs in the state bureaucracy, reporting their salaries and job "responsibilities". Many of Howie's columns feature info from the "hack hotline" -- whistle-blowing reports from government employees.

Oklahoma 2004 election schedule


In case you hadn't heard, Oklahoma's election calendar, which has been more or less unchanged for decades, has undergone a makeover for 2004, moving the presidential preference primary, filing period, primary, and runoff about a month earlier each. The legislature approved the changes in this year's session. The earlier presidential primary date (a week after New Hampshire) has actually put Oklahoma on the radar for the Democratic presidential candidates. The earlier regular primary and runoff is designed to provide sufficient time for sending out and receiving overseas military absentee ballots between the runoff and the general election.

By the way, the ballot for the presidential primary is set, and you can see the list of candidates here. The only surprise entry on the Democrat side is Lyndon LaRouche, while someone named Bill Wyatt has filed to run against President Bush in the Republican primary. The primary coincides with Tulsa's municipal primary, normally a very low-turnout affair in non-mayoral years. The coincidence could have an impact on a couple of Council races in heavily-Democratic north Tulsa -- the race to replace Joe Williams in District 1, and the rematch between David Patrick and Roscoe Turner in District 3.

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Politics category from December 2003.

Politics: November 2003 is the previous archive.

Politics: January 2004 is the next archive.

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