Beth posts a video tribute to the late Carolina Circle Mall. I think she's got her tagline backwards, though, it should be "You will be forgotten, but not missed."
Sorry, but that was a sucky mall. It did have the first Chick-fil-A I'd ever seen, and the skating rink seemed like a good idea at the time, and I enjoyed A Boy and His Dog as the late show one night, and, uh, that's about it. Good riddance.
Cunning Realist on our new Treasury secretary: "If Paulson simply picks up where Snow left off, the results won't be pretty. Snow elicited knee-slapping belly laughs on Wall Street trading floors every time he deadpanned 'we favor a strong dollar,' and so will Paulson if he takes to the airwaves with absurd platitudes about 'our economic miracle.' Better to just keep quiet and maintain a vestige of credibility for when it's really needed."
He's right that the summary has a political flavor to it. So does the big report, and I find the politics the least interesting and useful part of the whole project.
But the politics are hardly the sum of the report, or even of the precis. The column is quick to dismiss an entire body of work, based on items cherry-picked from a summary.
UPDATE: Roch Smith Jr. points out in the comments below that Doug writes:
"The report cites 'Mao Tse-tung's philosophy of targeting poor workers and rural peasants as the most powerful source of revolt.'"
As Roch says, "The report is very clearly ascribing that notion to the Workers Viewpoint Organization, it is not a view endorsed by the report."
He then cites the whole quote from the summary, "Since many poor workers were employed by N.C. textile mills, focusing attention on conditions there made sense both to local organizers and other N.C. organizers with whom they were connected through the African Liberation Support Committee and later through the Workers Viewpoint Organization, a national group that followed Mao Tse-Tung's philosophy of targeting poor workers and rural peasants as the most powerful source of revolt." -- Executive Summary p. 21
Roch says Clark's quotation is "so misleading that it cries out for a formal correction in the paper."
Billy Jones: "I gave notice on my job today...blogging will become a part of how I hope to earn my living. BloggingPoet.com saw 1 million page views in the last 12 months so it’s time to monetize if I’m able. I also plan to schedule time into most work days to allow me to volunteer-- free of charge-- to read, teach, and promote poetry to children in day cares, kindergartens, elementary schools, and nonprofits. I’ll be available to private schools for a reasonable fee. By the way, I sing too."
Frequent commenter Bubba emailed Patrick Michaels for his reaction to the recent Krugman column about Michael's representation of work by climatologist James Hansen. Reprinted with permission:
Bubba says, "I asked him if he intended to respond to Krugman's outrageous allegation, and if he could give me some details of the response."
--- Pat Michaels wrote:
Of course. Remember that the testimony was in 1998, and was referring to testimony in given in 1988.
Hansen testified in 1988 that he had three scenarios. The relevant one is Scenario A, which he testified to as "business as usual" (BAU). BAU means "no significant regulation and no significant technological changes". This was CLEARLY the case for the period 1988-1997 (in 1998, we only have annual temperature data through 1997).
So, Hansen can claim his (lower) Scenario B was "perhaps the most plausible", but it is NON-BAU. He only labelled one as BAU. I can't emphasize that more. So any analysis of his various forecasts MUST be constained (sic) to BAU, which is Scenario A.
See my point? He can only lodge complaints from the perspective of 1998 in this discussion. But, claiming that now (in 2006) emissions clearly resemble scenario B doesn't work either, because the lag-time between any regulation and a detectable realization of a temperature change is several decades with regard to greenhouse gases. So, for whatever reason, Scenario B was right for the wrong reason. For all intents and purposes, its a BAU world, and his BAU is Scenario A. Period. His words. In testimony. In fact, it would be misleading to emphasize Scenario B, wouldn't it, because, from a social point of view it isn't what happened?
Interestingly, Roger Pielke Jr on his Prometheus Blog yesterday said the same thing: He got lucky, not right.
So who is misleading whom?
Some further details are enclosed in a memo I sent Michael Crichton last fall.
Here is what he added when he gave me permission to use the material. I have left out an item he addressed personally to me.
.....One thing I have learned is that whenever you see a piece as stark as Krugman's, and the subject is experienced and accomplished, there's a whole lot that is not being told.
You should also be aware that Hansen and I are in virtual agreement on the earth's temperature trajectory for the policy-forseeable (i.e. fifty year) future. Krugman somehow couldn't find this, though it is in many sources.
PS: Scenario B has a REDUCTION in the growth rate of emissions between 1988 and 1997. Since that obviously didn't happen, how can it be defended?
Email of the day, from a complete stranger, without reference to any specifc post or topic. Subject line: "have you f**kers lost your mind?"
Text in its entirety:
Some of the things you advocate are ludicrous! I wonder how in the hell you people ever get power. You must be into mind control or something truly evil. You just don't get it do you. You have the answer for everyone else. You answers are better than everyone else. You need a good dose of a female blonde conservative lawyer who makes you look incredibly stupid. Yeah, Bush doesn't get it. But there are those who do! They are not on the liberal side. Liberalism is a colossal failure you freakin' idiot~!! Every place it has been exported throughout the world is proof. I will not dignify this with anymore rhetoric.
Legal Aid’s Greensboro office serves six counties in the Piedmont Triad, from which 238,487 people qualify for free legal representation. In the state of North Carolina, Craig says, there is one lawyer for every 384 people. In contrast, there’s only one Legal Aid lawyer for every 22,000 who qualify.
From Jordan Green's article, "How landlords almost always prevail in small-claims court, and tenants rarely have their cases heard," in Yes Weekly.
Your mission is "to conduct physical and spiritual warfare"; all who resist must be taken out with extreme prejudice. You have never felt so powerful, so driven by a purpose: you are 13 years old. You are playing a real-time strategy video game.
Fred Kaplan in Slate looks at the much-hyped expansion of the Chinese military: "Japan's and South Korea's defense budgets are larger than China's...If you're worried that the Chinese military might dominate Asia, the report suggests you should relax."
Are you one of the literally dozens of people planning to vote in today's run-off election to choose the Democratic nominee for Guilford County sheriff? You can hear Berkley Blanks and Bob Hinson answer questions here.
Eric Muller: "Ratzinger is out at the self-absolving fringes of his generation on the question of German responsibility for the crimes of the Third Reich.
"Worse still, Ratzinger proved himself incapable – even standing beside the crematoria of Auschwitz – of understanding the Holocaust as a crime against the Jews. Jewish suffering is just a tool for Ratzinger, an instrument for repositioning Christianity as the true target of Nazi oppression."
Winston-Salem Journal: "The Forsyth County elections office, short-staffed and lacking an experienced director, made several errors during the May 2 primary that affected voting and delayed the final vote tally, interviews show."
It could have been worse, reports James Romoser. "Before the [new voting] machines were sent out to the precincts, those test votes should have been cleared from the machines' memory - a process known as 'zeroing out' the machines. With three machines, however, the zeroing-out process never occurred, causing a total of 61 test ballots to be recorded as actual votes.
"A week after the election, county election staff members caught the problem."
At least that's over, right? W-SJ: "The issues in the Forsyth County elections office are far from resolved."
WaPo: "The U.S. military said Monday it was deploying the main reserve fighting force for Iraq, a full 3,500-member armored brigade, as emergency reinforcements for the embattled western province of Anbar, where a surge of violence linked to the insurgent group al-Qaeda in Iraq has severely damaged efforts to turn Sunni Arab tribal leaders against the insurgency."
A nice Memorial Day article in the N&R about our old friend Steve Millikin.
I bought a brick at the Veteran's Memorial in Country Park for my great-grandfather, Sydney Cone Sr., who volunteered at the age of 46 and served overseas as a surgeon during WWI, and for his son, Frank Cone, who died in a Japanese POW camp in the Philippines.
Krugman ("Swift Boating the Planet") says global warming skeptic Patrick Michaels of UVA committed "fraud pure and simple" against NASA climatologist James Hansen, and that the phony charge "has become a staple of climate change skeptics, from Michael Crichton to Robert Novak."
Krugman says Michaels "presented a chart supposedly taken from a 1988 paper written by Dr. Hansen and others, which showed a curve of rising temperatures considerably steeper than the trend that has actually taken place...The original paper showed a range of possibilities, and the actual rise in temperature has fallen squarely in the middle of that range. So how did Dr. Michaels make it seem as if Dr. Hansen's prediction was wildly off? Why, he erased all the lower curves, leaving only the curve that the original paper described as being 'on the high side of reality.'"
Tucked away on the GTRC site is a concurring opinion to the main report from commissioner Bob Peters. "I, as the only attorney on the Commission, have a perspective that differs in some respects from that of the majority of the Commissioners."
Scroll down through the list of commissioner bios and reflections to read it.
The TRC report says, "Despite the obvious and important roles of the above participants [the Klan/Nazi group and the CWP], the majority of commissioners find the single most important element that contributed to the violent outcome of the confrontation was the absence of police."
Peters says, "the main wrongdoing must lie with the Nazi/Klan due to their violent hate language and their use of excessive force in the deaths."
He's also got some thoughts on the trials that are worth reading.
Lex Alexander reviews Glenn Greenwald's How Would a Patriot Act? in today's N&R. "Greenwald makes an excellent case that the man sitting in the Oval Office is claiming the powers of a dictator-king — and that if we truly are self-governing, then we need to start governing him."
Matt Bai deigns to explain the truth about politics to naive bloggers: "[B]loggers...imagine that cyberpolitics is no less than a reinvention of the public square, the harbinger of a radically different era in which politicians will connect to their constituents electronically and voters will organize in virtual communities. Politicians know that politics is, by its nature, a tactile business. New technology may change the way partisans organize and debate, and it may even spawn an entirely new political culture. But at the end of the day, partisans will inevitably be drawn to sit across the table from the candidates they support or oppose, just as votes will still be won and lost in banquet halls and airport hangars and all the other seedy, sweaty stalls of the political marketplace. Online politics can't flourish in the virtual realm alone, any more than an online romance can be consummated through instant messaging."
Thanks, Matt. Nobody who writes or thinks about online political activism had figured that out before.
Oh, wait, here's the lede of one widely-read article on the Dean campaign from late 2003: "Zephyr Teachout sits at her computer in a dimly lit nook of the Dean for America headquarters in South Burlington, VT, and dreams of the real world. 'I'm obsessed with offline,' says the director of Internet organizing for the Howard Dean presidential campaign...for Teachout, a 31-year-old lawyer in black high-top sneakers, the campaign is not about the Internet. Online tools are a way to get people to act -- to meet in the physical world, to put up flyers and posters, write letters and checks, speak to other people face to face. And ultimately, to get out and vote."
Frank Rich ("The Cannes Landslide for Al Gore") says "[T]he unexpected rebirth of Al Gore says more about the desperation of the Democrats than it does about him."
Gore was right early about Iraq, and ahead of the curve on global warming, but "Gore the uninhibited private citizen is not the same as Gore the timid candidate." One of his cardinal virtues, says Rich, is that he's not Hillary Clinton, a sentiment shared by many.
Kicker: "Even so, let's hope Mr. Gore runs...he could at the very least play the role of an Adlai Stevenson or Wendell Willkie, patriotically goading the national debate onto higher ground.... While a Gore candidacy could not single-handedly save the Democrats from themselves any more than his movie can vanquish 'X-Men' at the multiplex, it might at least force the party powers that be to start facing some inconvenient but necessary truths."
Robert Wright and Steven Pinker discuss sentience (Wright wonders if a presumed evolutionary trajectory toward more complex sentience makes "teleological scenarios somewhat more palatable"), morality, and hair.
Delighted to learn that there is a place in North Carolina's educational budget for peddlers of superstition. One of my earliest blog posts was about the need people feel to attibute the inexplicable to the supernatural.
Jim Melvin tells the N&R, "We had a very good police department Nov. 3, 1979."
True as a general statement, perhaps, but a non sequitur as applied to the Klan killings. At issue is the conduct and performance of the police on that case, and that morning, not the overall quality of the department.
Clearly a lot of people are going to refuse to engage in any real conversation about the TRC report.
Jim Coman, a prosecutor in the murder trial, told the paper he hadn't read the report. He said about the commissioners, "I would be disappointed if they were not equally concerned about the conduct of the CWP."
So, read the report and then tell us what you think. There is plenty of room for discussion about that word "equally," whether it sets a standard that the report meets, and whether it's the proper standard to set...but you gotta read the report to have that conversation.
I'm not picking on Coman here, the report is long and the paper was scrambling for reactions as everyone headed into the long weekend. During which I'll be reading the report.
Greensboro City Council member Tom Phillips told me last fall that he would read the report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Sandy Carmany said she was "waiting for the report." Florence Gatten said she had a "responsibility to study and comprehend the end product." Keith Holliday said he planned to listen to audio versions of the hearings, and said he was open to speaking with Commission members.
Sandra Anderson Groat, Mike Barber, and Goldie Wells were not yet on the Council; Yvonne Johnson participated in the TRC process; Dianne Bellamy-Small never returned my calls.
In July of 2002, I wrote about the formation of a Truth and Reconciliation Commission in Greensboro.
"What would a truth and reconciliation commission find? I don't think they are going to sell the general public on the idea that the Klansmen (or Klanspersons, as I heard one local minister say at lunch today) were a right-wing death squad just like the ones used in Central America...But a commission could do a lot by just humanizing the victims, and getting Greensboro and the whole country to think about how those people died and why nobody did anything about it."
I also had a personal reminiscence: "On the day of the shootings I was a senior in high school, spending time with a ten-year-old kid as part of a Big Brother program. I knew nothing about what was going on when I picked him up in a rough white neighborhood called Pomona. He said, 'The niggers are marching today but the Klan is going to get them.'"
I used to say a lot of the things that a lot of people in Greensboro say about 11/3/79. I started thinking differently about the Klan killings around the 20th anniversary of the event, and I wrote about it in the newspaper. My conclusion:
"There is a sense of something unresolved in the way Greensboro looks at this piece of its past, and that is because the past is unresolved. If we don't come to terms with what happened then, we can't deal with what's happening now."
Flashback: 7/16/05, Virgil Griffin (center, below) Imperial Wizard of the Cleveland Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, hands out his business card after speaking at the opening round of public hearings conducted by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission at the Weaver Center in downtown Greensboro. (Original post here, EdCone.com TRC archive here.)
One problem with this Wall Street Journal opinion piece on Memorial Day: It says Jessica Lynch is famous because the media plays down military heroism and plays up sadder stories. "Private Lynch can be seen as a victim. And when it comes to media reports about the military these days, victimology is all the rage."
I agree that the story of Leigh Ann Hester, a Kentucky National Guard soldier who last year became "the first woman to receive a Silver Star since World War II, and the first woman ever to receive one for close combat," is compelling. And maybe the media could do a better job of telling military stories, and personal ones.
But the Journal is conveniently forgetting the rest of Lynch's tale. She became famous because the Pentagon tried to market her as a hero, and the details of the story didn't add up.
An anonymous commenter at Jerry McClough's site says, "[T]he truth is that the CWP wants to go down in history as noble fighters for justice and freedom. If we wish we can donate money for a statue dedicated to their folly. I think that 2 trash cans-side by side-presents an adequate picture of tha November day."
Most of us do want to be remembered well.
The report, though, was not written by the CWP, nor does it seem to validate those claims to nobility, certainly in considering the rhetoric and effectiveness of the group.
Bonus points to the drive-by commenter for cherry-picking a single idea from the report (the recommendation for a memorial) and using it to dismiss the whole project.
The Truth & Reconciliation website is down, and has been for a while. I was afraid that might happen. Whether or not it recovers quickly, it would be great if other sites (e.g. the N&R, public library) could get those PDFs up as well.