• Warner Music issued a DMCA takedown notice to an official Warner Music video channel. I think I need some popcorn.
  • From @david_colquhoun via @BadAstronomer:

    Guardian science editor’s daughter gets measles. He’s angry with the anti-vaccination brigade.

  • I nearly mistyped “foreign” as “foregin.” It sounds like an appetizer you should eat before drinking gin.
  • Senator Arlen Specter’s party switch is largely symbolic. He didn’t toe the Republican party line, so why expect he’ll toe Democratic line?

Yesterday, the Los Angeles Times ran an article on Justice Antonin Scalia and how his opinions may represent the majority as the Supreme Court hears cases about race, religion, abortion and campaign finance. Apparently, conservatives are really looking forward to the possibility that the court might restrict abortion, outlaw affirmative action, strike down the separation of church and state, and get rid of limits on campaign finances.

In other words, conservatives are hoping for a bunch of activist judges to legislate from the bench.

Below the second page of the article, there’s a short bit about Senator John McCain appealing to the religious right by saying he wants the court to overturn Roe vs. Wade…but that he doesn’t like judges who legislate from the bench. Sorry, Senator, you’re going to have to pick one or the other.

I liked McCain back in 2000. He seemed to be a moderate Republican with some integrity, and a more interesting person than Al Gore. Over the last year or so, he’s leaned more and more rightward. Either he’s changed his views, or is finally showing his true colors, or he’s sacrificing his integrity for power. In none of those cases would I want him as President.

Wow… a new issue of Rising Stars! To be honest, it was a bit of a let-down. Usually JMS is better at showing, rather than telling. He’s infamous for laboriously laying groundwork in the B-plots and character moments of what seem like “ordinary” stand-alone stories, then kicking the arc into high gear and making use of it all. He did it with Babylon 5 and Crusade, with the first arc of Rising Stars, seems to be taking the same approach in Supreme Power, and from what I’ve heard (though I’ve seen very little of it) he did the same with Jeremiah as well. If you’ve seen B5 once the story got going, go back and look at some of the first season episodes, and you’ll be surprised how early some elements are established.

This issue, however, though it had some nice moments, was basically a plot summary. “Poet tells the story of…” It seemed an odd narrative choice, particularly for an issue so near the end of the story (#22 of 24) and for the first issue to hit the shelves in nearly two years. Maybe it’ll read better in context.

Anyway, that’s not what I really wanted to talk about. What’s interesting is that in this issue, one of the Specials runs for President. It reminded me of something about the way comic books tell campaign stories. When a fictional character is in the race (or the office), he (it usually is a he) is almost always running under one of three circumstances:

  • As an independent.
  • On a fictional third-party ticket.
  • On an unidentified party’s ticket.

As we all know, third party candidates are rarely high-profile, and they rarely get significant numbers of votes, and I don’t think one has ever won the office*. Yet in comics, it happens all the time. Of course, heat vision, teleporters, and people who wear purple tights to fight crime are also commonplace. Continue reading

For quite a while now, the always-excellent This Is True newsletter has been advertising writer Randy Cassingham’s latest (?) project: JumboJoke, a weblog-style daily joke post. I finally took a look at it, and thought I’d share the following pair of lists based on our political parties’ often contradictory platforms and rhetoric: