Communism is an economic structure, not a political one

[link deprecated:] Navywxman is a leftist. [link deprecated:] Odysseus is a right-wing dude. They’ve been having an argument on Navywxman’s space about Communism and fascist states. Navywxman claims that there has never been a true communist state, that they were all run by right-wing governments. Odysseus is disputing that Russia wasn’t a communist country.

Both of them are a wrong, but Navywxman is a quite a bit more wrong than Odysseus.

Communism is an economic structure, not a political one. It’s an unworkable economic structure, but it’s not a form of government.

Therefore you couldn’t have a communist state, because such a thing can’t exist. You can have a communist economy in a totalitarian state, or a communist economy in a democratic state, or a communist economy in a monarchy. Except that communism doesn’t work, so none of those is actually possible. But navywxman can have fun trying, as long as it doesn’t involve me.

The opposite of communism isn’t democracy. It’s capitalism. it goes like this:

Economic: communism vs. capitalism
Political: democracy vs. authoritarianism/totalitarianism/dictatorship

The Russian states were indeed communist economies. But they were also right-wing totalitarian governments. So all the communist tyrannies failed for two reasons: Communism is dumb, and tyrannies are wrong.

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The difference between “blogs” and sites and pages

Channel 8 news this morning had a news story on about a 25 year old male student teacher from a local high school who has been accused of having an inappropriate sexual relationship with a student. During the course of the story, they show a web page they called his “blog” and mentioned that students had commented on it, and that there was concern about that, suggesting, I think, that they were trying to figure out how to take the page down.
The page they show is actually a myspace account. Students commented on his friend’s comment area. He doesn’t actually “blog” there, though.
Dunno what they plan on doing with that, but it was interesting how they don’t know the terminology for current technologies on the internet. It would have been more accurate to say he had a profile on a popular social networking site.

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Oldest Blog Ever

I signed up for Media Matter’s Blog Registration the other day, and the sent me back an e-mail saying I had the oldest blog they’d every seen. (I have entries dating back to 1995). Yup. I’ve been around that long, keeping my journal online, using BBEdit, long before blog software was invented. Most of the static content I have (like the jokes, and recipes and stuff) was from way back then, too; some of the creation dates on those files are 1994. So when I get them converted over, you’ll be able to see a progression of what kind of crap I’ve had on my site from the beginning.

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Under Pressure From KKK, Ford Pulls Ads From Black Media

The Holmes Report is a large corporate communications/PR publication, and the above headline is on an article on their site.
Ford is doing a hell of job damaging their brand if this kind of article is showing up in heterosexual corporate publications.

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Melissa Etheridge and other cool stuff

My friend Amy gave me Greatest Hits: The Road Less Traveled by Melissa Etheridge a few weeks ago. I’ve been listening to it, but didn’t get around to paying attention to some of the new tunes on it until this week. There’s a very beautiful song called “This Is Not Goodbye” about going into surgery and having a loved one sitting in the waiting room for you. Thank God we didn’t hear that frickin’ song earlier in the year. I can’t even listen to it now. It’s a great song, but still.
Also, check out this awesome Library of Congress photo gallery of color pictures taken between 1939 and 1943. There are some fantastic photos there, like this one. You can see even more of the photos taken by the Farm Security Administration-Office of War Information Collection at this link, though, and although it’s not as easy to navigate, you can find the high-resolution images.
A really cool video on how to perfectly fold a shirt. I’m so going home to practice this one.
Cool new board games for 2005. There are some on here I really want. I looked at “Around the World in 80 Days” and “Ingenious” at Game Preserve the other day, and they made my want list. I’m adding “Shadows Over Camelot” to the list, too.
AirTran/Wendy’s Free Flight offer: for 32 flight coupons, get a 1 way ticket, 64 coupons get a round-trip ticket. You get a coupon on every Wendy’s drink cup. Pretty awesome.
PaperbackSwap is a way to exchange paperbacks with other folks. You send paperbacks to others, and get credit to have them send some to you.
The straight dude’s guide to ‘Brokeback Mountain.’
From Uncommon Goods:
gorilla pillows – $40.00
sock monkey slippers – $15.00
monkeys on the bed – $26.00
write no evil pen holder – $75.00

Continue ReadingMelissa Etheridge and other cool stuff

Prop 622 passed out of committee; vote to be Monday

Last night, Proposition 622 to amend the Human Rights ordinance passed out of committee by a vote of 5 to 3. It will be voted on in the full committee in a special session on Monday night. I’ll post details of time and room as soon as I hear them. Here are the undecided councilors that need to hear from people before Monday:
Ron Gibson (D)
Patrice Abduallah (D)
Lynn McWhirter (R)
Suzie Day (R)
Marilyn Pfisterer (R) (distant maybe)
Bob Cochrum (R) (distant maybe) 856-5549
Mike Speedy (R) (distant maybe)
We kicked butt last night. The gay community in Indianapolis really rose to the occasion and gave strong testimony and coherent arguments. I found myself saying “that’s a really good point!” on about ten different occasions during testimony.
There were about 2 of our supporters for every one of theirs, and they hauled out the same lame, illogical, irrelevant arguments that they did last week. I’m totally proud of the GLBT community. You’re rock stars, people.
The local media, however, sucked raw eggs. Fox was the only news station that covered the committee hearing well. Channel 6 had lots of coverage; all of it was yellow journalism, showed dis-proportionate speakers. They also kept airing the “there are already laws on the books” argument — there AREN’T laws on the books to cover this. I didn’t see anything on Channel 8, and Channel 13 had a 10 second overview. The IndyStar has a decent article on the issue, but with the completely lame headline: “Gay Rights plan stands chance of passing this time.
IT’S NOT A GAY RIGHTS PLAN. It’s a human rights plan, and the ordinance also has changes for people with disabilities, veterans of any war (not just vietnam) and it also covers STRAIGHT people — making it clear you can’t be fired for any sexual orientation or PERCIEVED sexual orientation. Yes there are straight people fired because people think they’re gay.

Continue ReadingProp 622 passed out of committee; vote to be Monday

Bush on the Constitution: ‘It’s just a goddamned piece of paper’

Capitol Hill Blue:

GOP leaders told Bush that his hardcore push to renew the more onerous provisions of the act could further alienate conservatives still mad at the President from his botched attempt to nominate White House Counsel Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court.
“I don’t give a goddamn,” Bush retorted. “I’m the President and the Commander-in-Chief. Do it my way.”
“Mr. President,” one aide in the meeting said. “There is a valid case that the provisions in this law undermine the Constitution.”
“Stop throwing the Constitution in my face,” Bush screamed back. “It’s just a goddamned piece of paper!”
I’ve talked to three people present for the meeting that day and they all confirm that the President of the United States called the Constitution “a goddamned piece of paper.”

Continue ReadingBush on the Constitution: ‘It’s just a goddamned piece of paper’