Lance says the Hickory Daily Record "still hasn't found the cajones (sic) to challenge Catawba County Schools
Superintendent Markley or technology officer Judith Ray and their
narrative about Google (or some unnamed girl) being at fault for the unauthorized release of more than 600 students' social security numbers."
Jay Rosen: "The people formerly known as the audience are those who were
on the receiving end of a media system that ran one way, in a
broadcasting pattern, with high entry fees and a few firms competing to
speak very loudly while the rest of the population listened in
isolation from one another— and who today are not in a situation like that at all."
While one Greensboro councilmember is not faring well in blog-talk about the TRC report, another is using her own blog to calling out a third.
Carmany: "I was highly offended by Councilmember Florence Gatten's comment at
this morning's special city council budget meeting when she stated that
we do not have a police chief in charge of the department at this time."
The short answer to the pompous bloviation of LeeSiegel, as any seasoned blogger could tell you, is "Godwin's Law, chump, you lose."
But Josh Marshall's longer answer is worth reading, too: "I can understand someone from the world of small magazines being
shocked by the responsiveness, rambuctiousness and even hair trigger
hostility of the blogosphere."
It's also eye-opening to write an opinion column in one's hometown newspaper...anyway, back to Josh: "Not long ago I got on the wrong side of the ridiculousness of the
proprietor of one left-wing website. And his antics were so
dishonorable and shameless that I don't think I'd ever speak to the guy
again. Still, I don't think he was a fascist. I think he is, mundane a
category as it may be, a dick. Or perhaps I'm the dick. To him,
certainly. Still though, I don't think fascism has anything to do with
I noticed late last year that the trailer for the new Superman movie played up the obvious Christ typology of the Superman story, including the fact that "Superman is told by a disembodied voice that he, the Voice's only son,
has been sent to Earth to help its people realize their better natures."
The NYT's Manohla Dargis says the movie itself does the same thing.
From the review: "Jesus of Nazareth spent 40 days in the desert. By comparison, Superman
of Hollywood languished almost 20 years in development hell. Those
years apparently raised the bar fearsomely high...the Man of Steel
has been resurrected in a leaden new film not only to fight for truth,
justice and the American way, but also to give Mel Gibson's
passion a run for his box-office money. Where once the superhero flew
up, up and away, he now flies down, down, down, sent from above to save
mankind from its sins and what looked like another bummer summer."
The N&R runs Brooks' factually-challengedhatchet job on Kos and bloggers, part of a larger issue on which Billmon has some thoughts, including this: "The Lieberman Dems don't hate and fear Kos and the Daily Kos 'community' because they are too far to the left. They hate them
because they represent an emerging power center within the Democratic
Party that they don't control -- what's more, one that is now
much closer to the public mainstream on the central issue of our time
(the Iraq War) than they are." (Billmon loses me a bit on the Israel stuff, which seems to me overstated among the several issues that pit Democrats and progressives and bloggers against the insiders and establishment consultants.)
Lots of action in the comments here and here about the powerful Simkins PAC and the obligations of a blogger to back up his charges of corruption.
Guarino's original comparison of Homestead and Enron is specious and sensationalistic, banning Mr. Sun was a bush-league move, and he may be venturing onto thin ice with his blanket allegations of corruption. This blog battle has been brewing for a while, and Guarino's resort to dismissing his critics as "the left" is pretty weak, given that Sandy Carmany smacked him pretty hard in this thread.
But there is an important discussion to be had about Homestead and
local politics. Maybe when the shouting dies down we can have it.
Another interesting post from Doug Clark in Africa: "[W]hen Kenny and I boarded the bus in Nairobi for the long, long ride to Mwanza, all passengers were given a security check. But, as the wand passed over Kenny's pack, then Kenny, then my pack and then me, it beeped every time. No matter. We were invited to board without further scrutiny. Later, as passengers got off and on along the route, a man was allowed to board with a machete and sat behind Kenny. Just what sort of weapon might keep someone off?"
Vernon Robinson is scheduled to be on the Rush Limbaugh program at 2:30 today. I'm sure we can expect some tough questions from Rush, not just softballs intended to help raise out-of-state money for the out-of-district candidate.
Despite WiFly's ubiquity — with 4,100 hot spot access points reaching 90 percent of the population — just 40,000 of Taipei's 2.6 million residents have agreed to pay for the service since January. Q-Ware, the local Internet provider that built and runs the network, once expected to have 250,000 subscribers by the end of the year, but it has lowered that target to 200,000.
That such a vast and reasonably priced wireless network has attracted so few users in an otherwise tech-hungry metropolis should give pause to civic leaders in Chicago, Philadelphia and dozens of other American cities that are building wireless networks of their own.
The Wall Street Journal rounds up some of the venture cap action behind blogs. Less than $1 million gets you a quality blogger, a business plan, and...we'll see.
"The financing, though small in comparison with most Web deals, is one
of several in recent weeks that indicate optimism on the part of
early-stage investors in the viability of blogs as an outlet for
journalism, rather than the gossip and personal opinion that
characterizes much of the medium."
The Hotline says John Edwards "convened a retreat earlier this week for a bevy of top Democrats in Washington...The event, held two days before his major poverty speech, is part of a
concerted effort to remind party influentials that Edwards remains a
I guess the traditional opinion-brokers really are feeling threatened these days -- how else to explain this hit piece ("Respect Must Be Paid") by David Brooks?
"The Keyboard Kingpin, a k a Markos Moulitsas Zúniga, sits at his computer, fires up his Web site, Daily Kos, and commands his followers, who come across like squadrons of rabid lambs, to unleash their venom on those who stand in the way. And in this way the Kingpin has made himself a mighty force in his own mind, and every knee shall bow."
Brooks greatly overstates the influence Kos wields over other bloggers. He's not totally off base when he writes that Kos "has his relationships and his understandings and his networks and his compromises," as do we all, but I think he's wrong that Kos has "achieved a level of self-importance it took those in the pre-blog political class decades to acquire." As this column shows, the old pros are still very much in that game.
Sydney spoke this morning about her impending bat mitzvah to a friend's adult Sunday school class at Mount Pleasant United Methodist Church. I'm prejudiced, but I thought she rocked, and the crowd was appreciative. She chanted part of her Torah portion in Hebrew, which was a big hit, and fielded a lot of questions (I took a few, too, on issues such as the Jewish view of the afterlife). It can be so easy to speak across faiths, although people sometimes make it hard.
I haven't been able to summon much interest in the Kos/Armstrong/TNR dust-up since linking to the story that ignited it several days ago. Here's a roundup, if you like insidery political knife-fights, with links and a history of Armstrong's legal problem.
For what it's worth, my blog gets ads from the Advertise Liberally network. Nobody has ever tried to tell me what to write, or not write, and if they did I would laugh at them and write about their efforts. As somebody that I'm too lazy to go find has written, the money involved is trivial, and any blog that is getting non-trivial money from ads is big enough to go it alone without the network. I'm not on the Townhouse list, either.
Stench was the first to point out the awfulness of the Handelman show on WZTK when the host gets into junk science and conspiracy theories. That stuff can be OK in small doses, but Handelman often fills his afternoon drive-time with it, and he's completely credulous.
I caught part of yesterday's show, and it was insulting. The guest kept talking about 9/11 conspiracy theories that need to be addressed. He named no names, articulated no logic, just floated wild stories and let them hang. Handelman's responses amounted to "wow."
Then the guest started talking about the possibility of a conspiracy to get us into WWII, claiming that Congress wouldn't let FDR aid Europe and that polls showed 80% of Americans strongly opposed to entering the war right up until Pearl Harbor. The public opinion one just feels wrong (it is) and you don't need to be a scholar to have some vague memory of the Lend-Lease program. Handleman managed to challenge none of it.
I was pulling up the driveway when they got to the part about the government controlling the weather.
I know it's entertainment, but it's also afternoon drive-time on a powerful news/talk station that serves a big chunk of this state.
Handelman should do more than sound like a stoned college freshman as he pushes this stuff out to the public.
Here's the WaPo version of the social isolation story I mentioned earlier.
"A quarter of Americans say they have no one with whom they can discuss personal troubles, more than double the number who were similarly isolated in 1985. Overall, the number of people Americans have in their closest circle of confidants has dropped from around three to about two."
Geez, that's depressing.
Or maybe not: "University of Toronto sociologist Barry Wellman questioned whether the study's focus on intimate ties means that social ties in general are fraying. He said people's overall ties are actually growing, compared with previous decades, thanks in part to the Internet. Wellman has calculated that the average person today has about 250 ties with friends and relatives."
Topic for further study: does the decrease in confidants, combined with the increase in less-tradtional networks, account for some of the I-don't-believe-I'd-have-told-that stuff we see online?
In any case, virtual friends and casual friends aren't the same thing as close friends and family.
I feel very fortunate to have many people in whom I could confide my innermost feelings, if I was not too repressed to do so only to my dog.
Cara Michele reports on yesterday's meeting of the Guilford County-Greensboro-High Point Task Force to End Homelessness. "Some of the new faces I saw this time were Andy Scott from the City of Greensboro and Ed Kitchen, representing the Bryan Foundation." I'd call that momentum.
The locally-focused N&R goes all-non-local above the fold on A-1 today, and makes some odd choices along the way.
"Earth's hotter and it's our fault" is the headline splashed across the top of the page, above an AP article about a National Academy of Sciences report on global warming and human contributions to it.
A quick look at other front pages from across the country shows that few put this story on A-1, much less as the top story of the day; the headline was also unusually, er, overheated compared to other papers.
Also above the fold: A huge color photo of a dejected US soccer fan, and a wire-service story about the declining number of friends claimed by American adults.
A pair of local stories make the bottom of the page -- the Dixie Chicks have delayed their Greensboro concert, which was selling well despite limited radio support and poor ticket sales elsewhere, and a Marine charged with murder who was said to be from Greensboro is actually from Oregon.
The Winston-Salem and Raleigh papers put the arrest of 7 alleged terror-plotters on their front pages. Winston and Durham had front pagers on the John Edwards stuff we discussed here yesterday.
This picture should do the Ralph Reed campaign a lot of good, huh?
Safavian's been convicted, Ney is on the ropes, and Abramoff is Abramoff. Smile!
From the article: "A bipartisan Senate report released on Thursday documented more than $5.3 million in payments to Ralph Reed, the former director of the Christian Coalition and a leading Republican Party strategist, from an influence-peddling operation run by the corrupt lobbyist Jack Abramoff on behalf of Indian tribe casinos."
As individuals, as parents, as children, as representatives of organizations, as civic entities, as a society, and even as a nation, we get moments of spiritual ascension, which allow us to rise above the cause-effect, animalistic urges and motivations. These moments give us a glimpse onto a larger plateau beyond the mere incantation of religious doctrine or selective scriptural interpretations.
The task is to enrich ourselves, and those around us, with the significant choices at these moments, rather than devolving into denial or deferral. While I have no references for the negative consequences of the 1979 debacle in Greensboro, I submit that our response to it now, allows us to create a significantly positive example for individual and civic flight of ethics and humility. Rather than any emphasis on countering any nasty whispers about our community, this moment lets us post Greensboro, for our own internal voices, our children and the nation at large, as a positive example of doing it right. The “it” happens at many places, and such incidents will continue to confront our moral and ethical choices at many a venue.
Rather than quietly avoid any reference to historical Greensboro or try to do a Chinese filter of such past incidents, this present moment and our civic and group responses allows for Greensboro to be presented as a gorgeous example within the vernacular.
I am proud of the conscious efforts that permeate within our armed forces where incidents, which can easily be rationalized within the extremities of war, are confronted (and processed) for self-cleansing and for maintaining the virtues and ethics of the warriors.
I do hope that we, in the Greensboro area, will tether ourselves to such a creed.
John Edwards speaks today at the national press club. Here's the text of his speech about "the great moral challenge of poverty," and a supporting document about his anti-poverty plan.
Edwards also got some love in Bob Herbert's column. Herbert says the speech is "different from the poll-tested, freeze-dried political pap we've come to expect from politicians. For one thing, Mr. Edwards, who's part of the growing pack of Democratic marathoners seeking the party's 2008 nomination, wrote it himself. For another, he unfashionably (and unabashedly) appeals to the better angels of the electorate."
Hold aside Florida and Louisiana, and in general the blacker the southern state, the wider George W. Bush’s margins were during the past two presidential elections.
Consider Mississippi, the state with the highest share of African Americans. According to exit polls, 90 percent of black Mississippians voted for John Kerry in 2004...Democrats effectively started the 50-yard dash to a statewide electoral majority at somewhere between the 25-yard line and the 30-yard line, yet still finished second -- by a wide margin, no less.
I agree that the pandering flannel-shirts n' NASCAR stuff isn't going to win white rural southerners to the Dems. But I think the Virginia strategy is plausible: treat people like adults, give meaningful examples of economic opportunity, and you have a shot at their votes.
In theory, what drives The Note is anything that's generating Beltway buzz...Too often, though, The Note's definition of buzz has been whatever Beltway Republicans are chattering about. The Note has been nourished on an era of total Republican rule. It shows.
Cutesy, creepy, and relentlessly effusive towards the media elite, The Note confirms the old adage that life really is like high school, with The Note filling the role of cheerleader-meets-yearbook editor, keeping tabs on where the cool kids are eating lunch, what they're wearing, and who's having the big party this weekend.
The Wall Street Journal says the Safavian verdict is a big deal: "The conviction of former Bush administration official David Safavian in a Capitol Hill influence-peddling scandal is likely to have broad legal and political effects. The guilty verdict, handed down by a federal jury, could pressure more congressional aides to cooperate with the investigation, and complicate the re-election bids of a handful of Republican legislators named during the trial."
Dan Froomkin says the White House connection is being underplayed in the press: "You wouldn't know it from the coverage of David H. Safavian's conviction yesterday for lying and obstructing justice, but some of his criminal activity actually took place while he was working at the White House...Astonishingly, in fact, the words 'White House' are missing entirely from at least two widely-published stories..."
We'll get some councilmembers sitting around a table in July. Not much will happen.
The TRC offices are closed, the staff dispersed. Without some kind of bold and conciliatory move, the discussion of this report will devolve into an echo chamber of already-interested parties.
The report recommends apologies from all responsible in any way for the events of 11/3/79. The CWP is among those held responsible in the report. An apology to the people of Morningside and Greensboro for the rhetoric and the location of the march would be a powerful statement.
The survivors have driven this process so far. They may feel that it's not their responsibility to keep making the first move, that asking them to go before the Council is asking too much...
But what are the alternatives?
This project is in danger of slipping down the memory hole.
Ginger Rivers: "Why is recreation not valued in Rockingham County? What is it about the most beautiful places, why aren't they cared for? Why don't the people who use the area care? What about the boaters, kayakers? Why aren't there more complaints?"