War, What Is It Good For?…

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…among other things, embarrassing celebrities.

Consider the case of rocker Lenny Kravitz, who has just released a protest song called "We Want Peace" on the Web site of Rock The Vote, an organization dedicated to voter registration.

However, as The Smoking Gun points out, Lenny K has been AWOL for some time regarding that particular civic duty. Not that there's anything wrong with that. In fact, *not* voting is, to paraphrase Stokely Carmichael, as American as cherry pie. But when confronted by The Smoking Gun, Kravitz failed to stand by his actions, saying through a spokesperson, "I haven't voted in many years and it was a mistake."

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  1. Here is an interesting economic discussion of the decision to vote and, if so, the chances of it being an informed vote. It discusses the concepts of “rational abstention” (the chance of your vote making a difference is almost zero) and “rational ignorance” (add the cost of becoming informed on a myriad of issues to the almost zero chance of your vote making a difference) and concludes that voter apathy makes rational sense.

    After experiencing the result of our last presidential election I don’t buy this theory but it IS food for thought.
    http://www.sbe.csuhayward.edu/~sbesc/99augcol.html

  2. hi lefty!

    sure is colder in minneapolis today, huh… (bask, bask)

    most voting is done with the heart — that is, you hear the “true believers” explain away everything their particular candidate/bloc/party/ etc has to say. you get people who were gung-ho nafta until clinton was for it, for example.

    hardcore issues, gun control, abortion, etc., are lithmus tests for many others. i.e, not voting for a particular candidate due the stance on one of those particular issues.

    the conclusion of the essay, that even compulsary voting (as in turkey, australia, belgium (is that one right?, and someone told me, Italy) wouldn’t make for more informed votes, is a nice comment. And, then your observation about 2000. (it was fun watching dan rather unravel there, too. just as in the posting “Are the anchors holding”.

    the thought about these particular protesters who felt compelled to block lakeshore drive and their voting record is of interst when considering the protesters across the country.

    the chicago vote certainly isn’t swayed by that kind of turnout. hell, most of them get their votes cast for them (it’s very convenient here)… but in those districts whose counts were very close, these protesters could have, en masse, had an effect on the turnout and potentially on the politicking leading up to the war.

    aw hell. now i’m starting to sound like a depeche mode song (“new dress”). gak.

    where’s my henry rollins now?????

    need of a black-flag-fix,
    drf

  3. Six inches of snow here tonight, headed your way, dude.

    I was raised in the South, home of the yellow dog Democrat. Republicans were as scarce as blacks in the city limits; that is, there were NONE. Consequently, there were both liberal (but not too much) and conservative (very much) Dems who spent most of their energy getting their wives and brothers-in-law hired by the street department.

    A lot seems to have changed since then (except the latter part) whereby the Repubs took over the conservative side of the Dems, leaving us lefties all alone. Lines have been drawn and in a crunch everybody toes the party line more than at any time I can remember. Voting for the person instead of the party seems over.

  4. I voted faithfully for years, and always came away feeling like I had taken part in some sick, sordid process. This past election I sat it out, and I didn’t miss it one bit. Remember: don’t vote, it just encourages them…

  5. Lefty:

    As a whole, I don’t think there’s been much voting for “the man” vs. “the party” in this country since…..maybe ever? Maybe on a local level in places like oh, say…Oconomowoc, Wisconsin you’ll find someone who votes a split ticket, but it’s pretty rare. In my lifetime, it’s been Dems voting Dem because of Roosevelt or Kennedy (or Chicago). Republicans vote Republican because of Reagan, or just out of general disgust for the extremist nature of liberal democrat rhetoric. But almost nobody votes for “the man”.

  6. hey Steve!

    across the way in mayville they sure seem to be for “the man” (at least that’s what my cousin used to say, in his own way; he used to be fire chief there)…

    nice badger reference…

    hey jim — there’s a good bloom county from 1988 (remember that “great” election year??) about voting. opus gets smacked in the face with a cream pie after voting (he wanted to vote for gregory peck)…

    but that’s why the libertarian party is a good bet: you can participate; get some libertarian views across; and you can rest assured that, if your local or congressional candidates are anything like the illinois ones (with a few good exceptions (Matt Beauchamp, Frank Gonzalez)), they don’t stand a prayer…

    and Lefty: still in the mid 50s here in chicago. no snow in sight. steve will get it first. ahhh yes, the sacrafices the cheez-hedz make for the rest of us… 🙂

    cheers,
    drf

  7. It’s always the loudest ones, isn’t it? I believe that Rush Limbaugh never registered to vote until 1992, as he was in the public spotlight and it suddenly became an issue.

    Amazing how people want to be part of the public political process but can’t be bothered to engage in the private part of politics (voting).

  8. Steve will love it. He’ll get to haul his neighbors around in his SUV.

    BTW, I live in St. Paul. Minneapolis is where the liberals are.

  9. http://www.remhq.com/finalStraw/finalstraw.html

    REM has also joined the bandwagon 😀 so that’s lenny kravitz, the beastie boys and zach de la rocha (w/ dj shadow!) by my last count; anyone else?

  10. and the dixie chix… errr, “freedom chix” um…

    where were these anti-war people in the election of 2000? or of 2002? i do know two anti types here who “never vote” because the vote is “fixed” (well, here in chicago, it is, but you know). so they go out and protest instead. but with n=2, you can’t generalize…

    then all those types who clogged up lake shore the other night. sure — i would rather live in a country where people can protest, do protest, and even though i didn’t like how they did it on this particular evening, their right to do so is a sacred one. just as we should be happy that pro-soldier/ pro-regime change/ pro war (whatever their “pro” side is) may voice their opinions.

    just would wish that they would remember these fantastic rights and go vote, too. it seems to make the message when they protest a little more clear…

    cheers,
    drf

  11. they didn’t release a protest single over the internet tho, did they?

    missile dick chicks 😀 cheers!

  12. “Remember: don’t vote, it just encourages them…”

    Who are “them?” Surely not the politicians! They couldn’t give a rat’s patoot whether you vote or not. It’s not as though they’re paid on commission or anything.

  13. I am able to sleep at night knowing that I voted against every one of the lying thieving scumbags that got elected (for whom I was a constituent) in every election I was eligible to vote in (except one where I was stationed overseas and had to vote absentee)
    I vote party line, straight Libertarian, and for races that have no party canidite, I vote for a write-in, usually either myself or Mickey Mouse.

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