Frograbbitmonkey leaves a scorching comment about the Secret Service investigation of a blogger who "prayed" for bad things to happen to the President: "All of you who think that this girl deserves Secret Service investigation are nuts. It's not even a real prayer. She doesn't believe in God. So she's asking someone she doesn't believe in to give GWB an aneurism through telekenesis. And you people honestly think this is a threat worthy of investigation? If I said, 'Dear Santa, please strike Karl Rove by lightening when your sleigh flies over Washington DC' would you think I deserved to be personally investigated?"
That frm is going to be one scary lawyer, but scary on the side of goodness and justice, of course.
Kelefa Sanneh decries "rockism" in the NYT. Interesting but unconvincing. The question is not rock, it's talent, musicianship, originality -- some blend of those things.
Does anybody think that the straight white guys with guitars in, say, Poison were more important or in any way "better" than, say, Public Enemy?
And great pop (e.g., Motown) is great music -- not because of or despite the corporate format, but because of the talent of the people involved.
The Ashlee Simpson clip damns the "singer" more effectively than any rock critic ever could -- and who listens to rock critics, anyway?
N&R columnist Giles Lambertson was cryogenically frozen like Austin Powers and woke up recently in a world he doesn't understand. It's only a theory, but it explains a lot.
There is supporting evidence in today's column (unposted). Giles says our ugly political culture "began in November 2000. Supporters of Al Gore were bitter about that election outcome, demonized it as corrupt, and fomented four years of hate."
He's right that lots of people were bitter about the election (although I'm not sure that you can demonize an outcome, but this is a report card on thinking, not writing style).
But Giles-- did you miss the '90s? Impeachment? The success of Rush Limbaugh and the rise of Fox News? You mention Richard Mellon Scaife in your column -- he didn't just fall off the truffle truck in 2000, he was bankrolling spiteful liars long before Gore v Bush.
Your timeline is truncated, which makes your analysis more than a little shaky.
Sitting in a dark car, waiting to pick up Elijah at a party, listening to Woody. "It's high enough...it's long enough...it's GOOOD."
They played nothing but crowd noise for a few seconds on the radio. Nice. Elijah had been watching with the fellas inside. He came running out like he'd kicked the field goal himself. "The great thing about Carolina football," he said, "is that when they lose you don't care, but then they do this, and it's so cool."
Miami official site: "CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - North Carolina might have kicked Miami right out of the national title race."
Did State play yesterday?
"I am going to vote for John Kerry for president."
That's the first line of my newspaper column this morning. I expect it to persuade exactly no one. But I thought I should put my cards on the table, even if I've been telegraphing them for quite some time.
The last election left me so tired and frustrated that I quit writing a newspaper column for more than a year. This time, the stakes are higher, but I'm calmer, secure in a zen space into which I invite you all. Well, we can't all fit into my calm space, but you can find your own.
On Wednesday -- a theoretical date for a decision on the vote, but let's go with it -- I will wake up. No matter who wins, the dog will have insinuated herself onto the bed. The kids will need feeding before school. I will be getting ready to fly to California to talk about weblogs and politics, and closing a story at the copy desk and reporting another one about the software industry, and thinking about what I'm going to say at Elijah's bar mitzvah, and walking the dog and loving my wife and calling my mom and working on a project at my kids' school and worrying about Carolina basketball and trying to finish the big book I'm reading so I don't have to lug it on the plane.
These fragments I have shored against my ruins. You should shore some fragments, too. What goes on in the big world is important, life or death stuff. But what goes on in your world is, too. We confuse the two, and sometimes, say for soldiers and civilians in Iraq right now, they are one and the same. But for most of us, win or lose, a little perspective helps.
Stuffwriter is concerned that the ACC basketball sked has been compromised by expanding the league: "They traded the Wake @ UNC game for Wake @ Miami. They're commiting suicide. All of they're (sic) loyal fans are basketball fans and they now tore up the basketball for football."
Lex Alexander shares a heartwarming Halloween image: the puking Jack-o-lantern.
Henry Copeland on recent coverage of journalists feeling the pain of blog attacks: "The bottom line -- if we are moving from the past year's 'Look! Non-journalists with websites! Aren't they CUTE!' attitude to a new story line of 'bloggers call us names and don't play fair,' the revolution is nearly over. The royalty in the castle's highest tower can smell the smoke."
The revolution is progressing nicely. But at the same time, maybe some bloggers should think twice about the middle-school invective they aim at people who are rapidly becoming their peers.
"The Elon University Board of Trustees voted Oct. 29 to establish a school of law, with the program headquartered in downtown Greensboro, N.C....The inaugural class of about 100 students will enroll in fall 2006, with a projected total enrollment of about 300 students by fall 2008."(news release)
Ding ding ding ding ding ding ding. We have a winner. Hoo-wa.
Which reminds me of a strange comment about downtown Greensboro by Orson Scott Card in the Rhino. He writes that "a big ugly stadium is going to guarantee the continuing death of what shreds of life our downtown still has."
It's not the best-written sentence in Card's oeuvre, and it contains an aesthetic judgement about the as-yet-uncompleted stadum that may not prove out when it's done, but the really odd thing is that it's several years out of date in terms of the life of downtown Greensboro. Downtown is rocking. I guess Card could argue that the stadium is going to kill the revival or slow the momentum, although I don't think that will be true, either. But to talk about the "continuing death" of downtown Greensboro in late 2004 is just bizarre.
The current edition of the Rhino Times is Greensboro's alt-weekly at its best, page after page of detailed local politics with a pronounced conservative point of view. John Hammer knows his stuff, and his endorsement articles are informative even when he's endorsing the wrong candidate.
What a shame it's not online until after the election. The Rhino is GSO's most-bloglike print publication, but like the BizJournal it hasn't figured out the local web business. (Not that I have, although I'm working on some ideas. At least the N&R is trying -- JR's blog just hit double digits in comments on a single post, there's something going on over there... )
Anyway, I thought Hammer's non-endorsement endorsement of Pricey Harrison was interesting. He spent the first part of the article saying nice things about Pricey and bad things about the campaign run by Joanne Bowie, and then gave Bowie a less than lukewarm nod based on his disagreement with Pricey's environmentalist agenda.
Kremlinology, Rhino style: several pro-Harrison letters were headlined "Pricey this" or "Pricey that" -- a subtle bit of brand-building that I don't think the Rhino would do for just anyone...and the interminable county commissioner article was headlined "Winstead" each time it jumped from page to page...
Also, Scott Card was on the money about Jim Capo -- a smart guy who does not seem serious about winning.
The ads from a group called the Conservative Values PAC were confusing and lame (the one against Barber) and offensive and stupid. The ad showing Jeff Thigpen as a puppet of Skip Alston doesn't even make sense in this context, unless viewed while wearing a Billy Yow t-shirt; Thigpen, who was endorsed by the Rhino, says his opponent is close to the nasty PAC.
Oh yeah, on the subject of ads in the Rhino -- Willy, you still haven't billed me for those EdCone.com ads I bought.
I'm not a big Eminem fan, and I scoffed at lefty sites pimping his new anti-war song and video...but it is pretty powerful stuff. Makes you want to grab a torch and a pitchfork, or at least a black hoodie. Watch it here.
This must drive the Rhino Times crowd crazy: more great news for downtown Greensboro, and Jim Melvin a hero in the tale.
N&R: "Elon University [has raised] $10 million to build a law school in downtown Greensboro.
The lead fund-raiser for the project, Jim Melvin, president of the Joseph M. Bryan Foundation, said that 22 local foundations, corporations and individuals contributed to the project...The money clears the path for Elon's board of trustees to vote on the project when it meets today. Elon's spokesman, Dan Anderson, had said earlier that money would be the only obstacle to prevent the project from moving forward, aside from technical issues with the proposed site for the school.
The school will hold a news conference at 2:15 p.m. today to discuss the status of the project."
How good a state senator is Greensboro's own Kay Hagan? Even the more-conservative-than-he-admits Gate Keeper endorses her.
UPDATE: A skeptical report in liberal-leaning Slate suggests that the numbers in the Lancet are credible only when compared to Moschetti's: "It's a useless study; something went terribly wrong with the sampling."
The BizJournal has done a great job of staying out in front of the Dell-to-the-Triad story, including a report in early August that the big computer maker had narrowed its focus to our region. Now it's official, with Dell and the State making it clear that a new plant is very likely to be built around here.
Hey, Dell, Greensboro is nice. Real nice. You should come to Greensboro.
Meanwhile, the excellent Business Journal of the Triad continues to suffocate itself with an outdated online strategy that does nothing to market the product. The paper publishes on Friday, but only posts its content on the web on Monday, thus snuffing any buzz it might generate and burying its own scoops. The News & Record has largely ceded regular business coverage in this market, and the BizJournal fills the gap well, but the powers that run the paper from corporate headquarters have a print-era marketing strategy that makes me fear for its future.
Live Journalist anniesj: "At 9:45 last night, the Secret Service showed up on my mother's front door to talk to me about what I said about the President."
Erskine Bowles came trotting down the hall at UNCG's Elliott Center last night. His bus tour was running a little late after a high-energy stop in Winston-Salem. But before Bowles reached the packed room of supporters awaiting him, he veered into another meeting room next door to work that crowd for a few minutes. Finally on the podium, he delivered a brief but energetic catechism to the faithful. Then he worked the room, person by person, group by group. On his way out, I introduced him to a pair of conservative students who had come to roll their eyes and snicker at his liberal pieties. He put his arms on their shoulders and preached a little more. Back on the bus. He had to be at breakfast this morning at 7:30 in Wilson, and on through Rocky Mount and Kinston and New Bern and other points east by Friday evening...and then on Saturday he's really busy, with five events on the schedule.
I got a chance last night to thank Crandall Bowles for the sacrifices she and her family are making in this campaign. I would say the same to Brooke Burr.
"Every year we have a guest speaker address the school about evolution, attempting to disprove the theory with his Bible." -- Public high school student Hannah Rose Epperson, Madison, NC (second letter).
Guilford County GOP chairman Marcus Kindley on "democrat nazi thugs."
Dude needs a history lesson and a wee bit of perspective. Not to mention SpellCheck.
Patrick Eakes: A good man goes to war.
I've been reporting an article about online campaigns for my day job. Recently a press staffer for one candidate sniffed to me that the campaign didn't have time to spend with "insider publications."
Newsflash: there are no more insider publications. The web killed that distinction. If something is worth reading, it will get found and read and discussed.
Assume your next employer will know how to use Google. This person is looking to build a campaign staff and wants to learn about a key player on the original Howard Dean team. The second Google entry for "Howard Dean Zephyr Teachout" is an "insider publication." The same insider pub comes up as the 6th entry if you Google "Howard Dean Internet campaign" -- and the second item on that list is by a blogger.
Welcome to your future.
The Get Loud Halloween Parade is Saturday in downtown GSO.
Details from the event blog:
Who: Every North Carolinian who fed up with the Bush administration.
What: Halloween paradeÃ–. wear a costume (you donÃt have to), bring a poster, bring a noisemaker and make some noise.
When: Saturday, October 30th
2:00pm parade departs
Where: Greensboro, North Carolina
Assemble at Guilford County Courthouse Plaza, 201 South Eugene St. (plaza is actually behind the courthouse on S. Greene St.)
March by Bennett College and North Carolina A&T
Parade ends at the Get Loud Haunted White House at the Mystic Karnival Halloween Party (www.mystickarnival.com)
Clearly the best blog in town yesterday was Greensboro is Talking. TheShu adds to his impressive reporting and commentary by finding a trove of local blogs.
TheShu has a detailed, well-reasoned, experience-based endorsement of Jeff Thigpen for Register of Deeds. Great local blog journalism.
Charlotte Observer: "Art Pope...is the most influential Republican in North Carolina not named Elizabeth Dole."
"Pope's fingerprints are all over the Nov. 2 ballot...In recent years, his family has donated to dozens of Republican candidates at the state and national level and spent millions to promote conservative ideals.
The race to control the N.C. General Assembly this fall can be best described as a battle not between Democrats and Republicans, but between Pope's wing of the Republican Party and the bipartisan coalition between Moore County Republican Richard Morgan and Mecklenburg County Democrat Jim Black.
...He and his parents, particularly his father, John W. Pope, are working to plant the seeds of a long-term philosophical shift in North Carolina and nationwide.
To that end, they helped start the John Locke Foundation, a conservative think tank, and the Pope Center for Higher Education, which studies college matters. They recently spent $500,000 to help the N.C. Republican Party buy a new headquarters. They give to national groups such as the American Conservative Union and have, over the years, helped fund magazines and groups on college campuses. Recently they gave N.C. State $511,500 to create a program for undergraduates on the relationship between economics and politics."
Newspaper takes back endorsement of North Carolina Republican over gay-bashing ads.
"But now a vote for him would be a vote for intolerance and dirty politics," said an editorial in the coastal region's largest paper.
White was appointed to fill the seat vacated by GOP gubernatorial candidate Patrick Ballantine, a seat he is now campaigning to win on his own. He had a lot of support.
Star-News: "The Star-News suggested Friday that New Hanover County would be better served in the N.C. Senate by Woody White than by his opponent, Julia Boseman.
That was before the Republican Party issued ugly and mindless campaign ads that focused on Ms. Boseman's sexual orientation and suggested she would pursue 'a liberal, activist homosexual agenda.'
Mr. White seems to be a decent man. These are not decent ads.
It would be legitimate to criticize the significant contributions Ms. Boseman has solicited and received from out of state. This is, after all, a local race to see who will represent voters in New Hanover County. And because the main source of those out-of-state contributions was a special interest group Ã± an Internet fund that collects money for openly gay candidates Ã± it would be fair to mention that.
It's something else to use language such as 'known lesbian activists' and 'radical homosexual rights and privileges' and to conclude by saying 'The truth is Ã– Julia Boseman seeks to be the first openly gay or lesbian State Senator in North Carolina History.'"
Princeton says Edward T. Cone "produced two of the 20th century's most influential books about Western music."
Mike Munger: "Wake up, you dolts! Brown, Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Chicago, Stanford: lots of faculty at all those places belive that Israel has no firm right to exist, and that oppression of the Palestinians is a new Holocaust, with the Israelis ('The Jews') playing the role of Hitler."
Previous posts on Munger, Duke, "The Jews," Palestinians, letters, and free speech here.
"At eighteen our convictions are hills from which we look; at forty-five they are caves in which we hide." F. Scott Fitzgerald, Bernice Bobs Her Hair
WSJ: Classroom Blogs Raise Issues of Access and Privacy (unposted)
"While most agree on blogs' value for promoting student expression, critical thinking and exchange, there's no consensus on the amount of control over access and content that educators should exercise. As blogging spreads, it could revive debates over student expression similar to those that have cropped up around school newspapers."
I would be pretty damn careful. Kids are, well, kids. They can be heedless and often cruel. Consequences are not on their minds, but words, especially written words, have consequences. Blogs are powerful tools. We make students go to Driver's Ed before getting a license, we supervise the power saws in shop class...student bloggers need supervision, too.
"The biggest fear is an uncontrolled message slipping out." Why ad agencies are scared of blogs, in the NYT.
Must. Maintain. Control.
I don't want to be controlled. That's why I don't like your crappy ads.
John Robinson has some advice for Greensboro's newsmakers: "You can't put water back into the faucet. Go ahead and talk to the reporter when he or she calls. At least you'll get to say it the way you want it said."
Apparently the powers that be were not happy with the BizJournal and the N&R for reporting on their big economic-devleopment merger without waiting for permission.
JR: "Here's how the news media works. We get wind of a story that we think our readers should know, we chase it until we get it. Now, with the addition of civic-minded bloggers to the mix, the number of people who report 'news' is growing every day."
The Erskine Bowles bus tour rolls into G'boro this evening...but this schedule doesn't say where he'll be.
"Bipartisanship is dead," says Oliver. "These guys want nothing to do with us, and we should have nothing to do with them. If we win, we make them play by our rules. And if they win, we make 'em hurt. I didn't used to think this way, but then, I was naive before."
Oliver my friend, you may be naive no longer, but the road to wisdom is long, and you need to check into a Holiday Inn Express and get a good night's sleep. You blast the "the DC media establishment." Guess what: nobody outside of DC cares. Maybe you should move before it curdles you completely.
We're the inclusive ideology, remember? Let the other side be angry and spiteful. Let's win the election, and govern for the whole big complicated country. If talented and open-minded people want to help, let them.
I gave Elijah an old copy of Animal Farm to read. He loved it. Then we talked about the allegory. He seems to have developed a strong pro-horse, anti-Stalin worldview.
Seth Godin warns CEOs not to waste time on blogging.
I don't think he read the post about Michael Dougherty's blog. I sent him an email about it, maybe that's the one he thinks came from a CEO.
Godin's advice is good in a big bold sweeping statement kind of way, but of limited applicability to any particular CEO by the same token.
Enjoy the Draft has a new video game for college kids to play.
This company advertises in every airline magazine I see. And every time I see it I think, what the hell is up with Valenti International?
"Valenti International is the only company of its kind who consistently attracts and produces results for a select worldwide clientele of quality individuals in their quest for a suitable and compatible life partner."
Anonymoses says good things are happening in our fair state: "I am pleased to report that North Carolina is on the move....And good people are popping up in both parties...This is a good time to be a Carolinian. We are finally returning to a sort of Mayberry purity. Y'all come back now! Heah?"
Jay Ovittore kindly called to express his sympathies on the death of cousin Edward. I told him that it was a little weird to see the print version of the obit, because the index listed it as "Cone, Edward," and even though I knew it wasn't me, it, well...
"You saw how it's going to look when it's your turn," said Jay.