Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Give Gates the Finger!

I hope that someday, flying monsters from outer space will come to earth and eat Bill Gates. It looks like it may take that for the rest of us (read: non-Windoze drones). The justice system sure isn't working on it: despite an antitrust lawsuit (that could never win here in Georgie Porgie Bush's America), Micro$oft continues to engage in the same dirty tricks and deceits that got it to the top in the first place. A recent article posted on ZD|Net discusses a new round of pure crap spewing from the toilet that is Bill Gates's pen (or word processor - I wonder if he uses Office at home?)

Evidently, Micro$oft is urging its "Partners" - computer retailers who, for a reduced cost, are allowed to package Microsoft products with new PCs - to refrain from selling computers without a pre-installed operating system, that is, without the latest version of Windows, as a "security" measure. Riiiiiiiiight. Windows as a "security" measure - this is an oxymoron. Aren't all spyware programs, as well as most trojan horses and viruses aimed at exploiting all of the horrendous holes in Windows? People who buy PCs without operating systems are - guess what - likely buying them thus because they don't want to shell out hundreds of extra dollars for Microsoft products. Because they want to install Linux. To ensure that "Partners" are complying, they're requesting lists of PCs sold without OS-s, without which "Partners" will not get their lovely discount - which will hurt their business immensely.

I hope Gates, Ballmer, and co. die in a fiery plane crash soon.

DeLay DeClines DeNomination - DeFying DeDisbelief?

I suspect that I'm not alone in my claim that it was Tom DeLay who, directly or no, drove me from the Republican Party. Yes, I'm one of the few, the proud, the unheard, the moderates. For years, I considered myself a moderate Republican - a true conservative, unlike the insane neonazis under whose auspices we currently reside. Let me explain: I believe in fiscal responsibility in a conservative sense. I believe in social libertarianism (never fiscal libertarianism - unchecked capitalism has had disastrous social consequences throughout history): the government should stay the hell out of my personal life.

How did roles get reversed? Semiotically, I presume. Indeed, few political signifiers connote as many signs as "conservative:" it can mean (as it once did), a limited role for government beyond those duties specifically called for by the preamble to the Constitution, that government is established in order to "promote the general welfare" and "provide for the common defense." It can also mean (as it does now) conserving longtime social beliefs despite a continually evolving culture (another historical deathtrap - social conservatives in the South led to the Civil War). Hey - what about environmental conservation, which calls for the responsible stewardship of natural resources? In one sense, environmental conservation and Goldwater conservatism have a lot in common concerning definitive terms: both call for responsible stewardship - one of natural resources, one of social and fiscal resources. The key term, here, is "responsible," something of which neoconservatives know nothing.

Responsibility. Conservation. Stewardship.

Neoconservatives strive to promote a single worldview, ignoring any who dissent with even part of that view. Responsibile social policy does not shut out any views, rather, it weighs all concerns equally and comes to a fair compromise that, indeed, "promotes" the general well-being (welfare in its original sense). Dissenters in the neoconservative view are treated as subhuman: think of homosexuals and Muslims. We're spending trillions of dollars a year intervening abroad because of some screwed up sense of moral responsibility to subdue the heathen via crusade - a term applied to our present war by top governmental officials.

It makes me sick. I suppose that most who, like me, formerly identified themselves as moderate Republicans, have either become independent, or, like me, conservative Democrats. Just what is a conservative Democrat? I'll lay it out for you:

Fiscal responsibility:
  • Don't worry about the rest of the world when problems at home are too great to enumerate. Instead of spending trillions of dollars a year fighting a war on two fronts, one of which was begun for no reason other than "he tried to have my daddy killed," keep our military within our borders, where they can protect us. Don't spread them out all over the board - any kid who's played Risk can tell you that it's damn near impossible to conquer Australia because it's too easy to defend: one avenue of attack, and defenders concentrated in that one avenue.
  • Don't spend money we don't have. "Pay-go" was a brilliant policy: if you need to increase spending on something, make sure that you either have the revenue or can cut spending elsewhere. Or eliminate "no-bid" contracts - those are irresponsible as hell.
  • I suppose it all boils down to this: don't cut taxes (revenue) and increase spending (outlay). You get one or the other, but not both.
Social libertarianism:
  • Again, not fiscal libertarianism, which espouses unchecked capitalism. Legally, a corporation may be an individual; however, socially, a corporation has no conscience. Historically, unchecked capitalism led to the creation of Communism - Karl Marx got to witness, firsthand, how kind capitalism was to the children of Victorian England.
  • The government has no business telling people how to live. Sure, spout off all of the propaganda that Preacher tells you about the Founders and how Christian they were, but remember, at least half were Deists (look it up - a novel idea, I know). All of our "temples of democracy" resemble pagan architecture - for good reason.
  • Religion has no place in the public sphere. There is absolutely no evidence that religious zealouts are any more moral and decent than agnostics and athiests. Want proof? Remember this: nearly every massacre throughout history had religion and morality at its core. Want proof? I'll give you a brief rundown: The Crusades, The Inquisition, the English civil war, American Slavery, the Holocaust, the Bosnian conflict, September 11. How many wars were caused by athiests?
Tom DeLay is gone. This makes me happy. But I remain disturbed by one prospect: is someone going to step in and try to continue where he left off? For the sake of the United States, I hope not.