Tuesday, July 20, 2004

A time and a place for everything

I think Bill Timmons, president of the Aladdin casino in Las Vegas, was right to fire Linda Ronstadt for praising Michael Moore's film "Farenheit 9/11" during a recent concert. This is not a freedom-of-speech issue. The people in the audience paid good money to hear her sing, not proseletyze. She can say whatever she wants on her own time, but during a concert she's on the job, and her job is to entertain the audience, even if some of them happen to be Republicans.

Michael Moore has come to Ronstadt's defense, calling her firing "un-American." I disagree. One of the defining features of a country based on free enterprise is that if you don't do your job you can get fired. Reasonable people can differ about whether this is good or bad, but to call it un-American is completely untenable. In my opinion, firing Ronstadt was not only American, it was the right thing to do.

Monday, July 12, 2004

Well, that's a relief

The reports that the Bush Administration had plans to postpone the election in the event of a terrorist attack seem to have been a false alarm. But there's still electronic voting machines to contend with. As long as Diebold controls the elections the world is not safe for Democracy.

Elections postponed in Iraq, Afghanistan, and ... the U.S.

The United States may join the ranks of countries where elections are "postponed" because of security concerns.

I hope we are not witnessing the beginning of the end of American Democracy. But I wouldn't bet my life savings on it at this point.

Free to do anything you want as long as no one objects

One thing that the Bush administration doesn't seem to get is that freedom to do only those things of which the government approves isn't freedom at all. Freedom means nothing if it does not mean being free to do things that are annoying, obnoxious, even offenseive, without fear of being driven into bankruptcy by the government. To be fair, a good percentage of the American People don't seem to get this either.