Thursday, July 05, 2007
Why Does Liberal Talk Radio Fail?
Myrhaf ponders an interesting question that came up at HBL just before the Binswangers went on holiday, and gets some interesting comments. This remark (within the fourth comment), by Dismuke, strikes me as right on target:
Nobody with an ounce of self-respect wants to listen to a bunch of condescending elitists tell them that they are a bunch of dolts - especially when the things they are being called a dolt over things such as fidelity to their values (philosophically valid or otherwise) or pursuing their own material self-interest and happiness.That's how talk radio fails as a vehicle for persuading non-leftist audiences. There are also some worthwhile points on why, apparently, even many liberals don't want to listen to it.
If one's motive is to persuade - well about the last thing that one should do is start out by insulting their audience's intelligence. That might work as a form of intimidation for the insecure and the social metaphysicians of the world - but it sure doesn't work with someone who is mentally healthy. But that is the very first thing that a Leftist does - indeed, it is a major building block of their entire world view.
Old Photo Blog
Dismuke also recommends, via email, Shorpy, a blog featuring interesting, old photographs. A recently-posted photo of a man I can only describe as a "Mainiac" was quite amusing.
Aiding and Abetting
Jihad Watch reports that 45 Moslem physicians in the United States have vowed to emulate their British colleagues by conducting terrorist attacks here.
But if your employer uses software from firms like Websense to filter what you can access through the Internet at work, you probably wouldn't hear about it by following blogs:
[T]oday I'm going to try to contact every company about which I have been notified and ask them to remove the ban. Many thanks to all those who have written in with information and suggestions; I am very grateful for your help.As distressing as it is to learn about this, at least the filtering is being done by private companies. There would be no such speedy recourse (if any at all) as outlined above if the government -- in violation of our right to freedom of speech -- got into this act, as so many would like to see.
Some people have asked me: "But why should employees be reading Jihad Watch on the job? If employers want to block it, that's their right." But when CAIR and pro-jihad sites are accessible and Jihad Watch isn't, this isn't a question of trying to keep employees' minds on the job. This is an attempt to silence us.
John Lewis in The Chronicle of Higher Education
I don't currently have a subscription to the Chronicle of Higher Education, but it has just released a report that will be of particular interest to Objectivists in general and those in academia in particular: "Tenure Shrugged: A Scholar's Affinity for the Philosophy of Ayn Rand Cost Him His Job".
Here is its opening paragraph:
In late April, John D. Lewis, a historian and classicist at Ashland University, flew to Virginia to deliver a lecture at George Mason University about U.S. policy toward Iran. Mr. Lewis is an admirer of the late Ayn Rand, and he shares her belief that democracies should respond to external attacks without much concern for civilian casualties. [See the update at the end of this article to find a more accurate description of Dr. Lewis's position. --ed] He wrote in an essay in 2006 that "America, acting alone and with overwhelming force, must destroy the Iranian Islamic State now. It must do so openly, and indeed spectacularly, for the entire world to see, for this is the only way to demonstrate the spectacular failure and incompetence of the Islamic fundamentalist movement as a whole."I am quite glad to see that this story is getting some of the national exposure it deserves. Since I probably will not get a chance to subscribe and read the whole thing any time soon, I am particularly interested in comments on the full article by anyone who happens by and has read it. (HT: Randex) [An anonymous commenter provides a provides a link to the full article. Since it is in a directory called "temp", this link will probably expire soon.]
Today: (1) For those unfamiliar with Dr. Lewis's position, I strongly recommend reading the version of his talk that was published in last winter's issue of The Objective Standard. In addition, audio of the talk -- which should be heard for other reasons -- is also available from TOS. (HT: Ergo) (2) Added note to excerpt from The Chronicle of Higher Education. (3) Added note concerning link to the full article. (3) Corrected a typo.