Thursday, September 30, 2010

Ahh, Autumn

It's the only time of the year I can have a fire going in the front room fireplace and the back kitchen door open listening and smelling the pouring rain.

Buck up, Bucko. The audacity of obama

"Even worse, the president was promising he'd judge such "irresponsible" people harshly when it came to their seriousness of purpose: "If people now want to take their ball and go home, that tells me folks weren't serious in the first place."

"Obama is talking to voters as though he is their boss, or their principal, or their father. He is not any of those things. He is their employee. And employers don't like it when their employees yell at them --"

Read it here

H/T to JWS

Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Power of the President

Via Glenn Greenwald Charlie Savage:"I'm a huge fan of executive power, but if someone came up to you and said the government wants to target you and you can't even talk about it in court to try to stop it, that’s too harsh even for me," he said."

NYT "A large number of people inside the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department “believe, incorrectly but vehemently,” that enforcement of the Voting Rights Act “should not be extended to white voters but should be limited to protecting racial, ethnic and language minorities,” said the official, Christopher Coates, the former chief of the Justice Department’s voting section."

Gosztola "The Obama administration's adoption of the stonewalling tactics and opaque policies of the Bush administration flies in the face of the president's stated desire to restore the rule of law, to revive our moral standing in the world and to lead a transparent government. This decision is particularly disturbing given the Justice Department's failure to initiate a criminal investigation of torture crimes under the Bush administration."

Is it just me, or is there a pattern here?
CORRENTE: more disturbing news

Friday, September 24, 2010

Blogger RoundTable




I have been invited to participate in a Blogger Round table with 4 other bloggers concerning the future of blogging, sponsored by tamerlane. This diverse group includes littleisis from Liberal Rapture, JohnWSmart from his blog with the same name, Fionnchu from Blogtrotter, and last, but not least, our esteemed host, tamerlane from True Liberal Nexis.

A huge WTF WERE YOU THINKING to tamerlane for coming up with this idea, choosing the questions and putting this round table together. I hope the readers enjoy this concept as much as I enjoyed participating.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you the 1st Blogger Round Table on the subject of (drum roll, please)


The Future of Blogging



I'll start by giving you a brief biography of the cast of characters:
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Cyn
BLOG: DoubleJointedFingers

BlOGGING SINCE:
2000 and Bush v. Gore. I totally didn't see that coming and I was so outraged that I started looking around the Internet to see if anyone else was as enraged as I. I ended up at "Kicking Ass", the DNC blog and stayed there until 2008. A lot of those wonderful Dem friends I had made were not only backing Obama, but vilifying Hillary. I also blogged at Night Bird's Fountain, but left in 2004 and started my own blog.

REAL LIFE PROFESSION:
Legal assistant to sole practitioner attorney

REASON I GOT INTO BLOGGING:
Politics

HOURS PER WEEK SPENT ON MY BLOG:
Not that many. I don't feel the need to post every day or even every week, although I did feel the need during the 2008 primary. For me, blogging helps me let off steam, share information and gives me a creative outlet.

HOURS PER WEEK ON OTHER PEOPLE'S BLOGS:
Hard to say, as it varies. I would guess approx. 10 hours per week
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
FIONNCHU
BLOG: Blogtrotter


BLOGGING SINCE: 2007

OTHER PUBLISHED OR POSTED WORKS:
academic journals; scholarly references; Lunch.com, Amazon US (Top 500 reviewer), New York Journal of Books, and PopMatters websites.

REAL LIFE PROFESSION:
Medievalist turned Humanities college instructor.

REASON I GOT INTO BLOGGING:
To share my passion for ideas and get my thoughts out of my mind and beyond the limits of a low-level teaching gig with few chances to find colleagues or students of a like-minded, inquiring, ornery, eclectic, and debatable bent.

HOURS PER WEEK SPENT WORKING ON MY BLOG:
6 (on average)

HOURS PER WEEK SPENT READING OTHER PEOPLE'S BLOGS:
2 (I read fast)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
JohnWSmart
Blog: JohnWSmart

BLOGGING SINCE:
2005

REAL LIFE PROFESSION:
Film Clearance Administration

REASON I GOT INTO BLOGGING:
Anger at Bush administration lies.

HOURS PER WEEK SPENT WORKING ON MY BLOG:
20

HOURS PER WEEK SPENT READING OTHER PEOPLE'S BLOGS:
5
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

littleisis
Blogs: You can find her at Liberal Rapture or The Confluence

BLOGGING SINCE: I was seventeen.

OTHER PUBLISHED OR POSTED WORKS:
I can't disclose those, this is a family blog.

REAL LIFE PROFESSION:
Student

REASON I GOT INTO BLOGGING:
I started paying more attention to politics and entertainment towards the end of High School, after a string of suicides occurred in my graduating class. (Two of them were good friends of mine.) Blogging is the easiest way to shout my opinions at people.

HOURS PER WEEK SPENT WORKING ON MY BLOG:
Depends on the week.

HOURS PER WEEK SPENT READING OTHER PEOPLE'S BLOGS:
Also depends on the week.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
TAMERLANE
BLOGS: True Liberal Nexus, at JohnWSmart as a guest contributor and at Liberal Rapture as a cross-posted hitchhiker

BLOGGING SINCE:
2009

OTHER PUBLISHED OR POSTED WORKS:
Myriad client profiles, press releases, newsletter articles, print ads, & promotional brochures; Training Agreements, Helmet Release & Hold Harmless forms; a thesis on medieval knights; a published board game; a privately disseminated cookbook.

REAL LIFE PROFESSION:
Horse trainer; former jack of all trades

REASON I GOT INTO BLOGGING:
To protest the Sting of Hillary Clinton and to combat the destruction of Liberalism by the Obamalonian Horde.

HOURS PER WEEK SPENT WORKING ON MY BLOG:
3? 5? 0?

HOURS PER WEEK SPENT AT OTHER PEOPLE'S BLOG:
I have no fucking clue.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Ladies and gentlemen, this concludes the bio portion of the Bloggers Round Table. There will be a brief intermission to allow you to stretch your legs and/or grab a cigarette. Day old donuts on the counter to your left.





** Roundtable Questions **

I The Future of Blogging
1. Can Blogging Save the World?

Cyn: I don't think anything can save the world. I've become somewhat jaded after the 2008 election. I believe there is only so much that bloggers can do to make a difference. However, I do see that the Tea Party (however much I disagree with them), are making a huge difference in the Republican party, but I don't know that it is due to blogging. I do believe that so long as we don't lose our hope of being able to make the world a better place, blogging will continue to grow.

Fionnchu: No, given that our voices will be drowned out.

John W. Smart: No. Nor should it try.

littleisis: Anything that speaks truth to power can end up saving the world. Mainstream press seems more concerned with speaking power to truth these days.

tamerlane: No, but it can rescue a scrap of veracity and free, meaningful discourse -- our samizdat in the face of Pravda Light censorship and Dancing with the Stars distraction.

2. Will Blogs replace Newspapers?

CYN: So long as newspapers need to turn a profit and remain beholden to corporate interests, yes.

F: No, as we lack the funds to afford to investigate issues on our own without the backing that media gain. We also lack credibility unless perhaps attached to a larger blog site sponsored by a corporation. We don’t get the press respect or the PR clout that enables us to garner review copies, either!

JWS: No.

LI: Eventually they will. I use the NYT to line my cat's kitty litter.

TAM: They'll meet somewhere in the middle. Unlike 99% of bloggers, most newspapers still know how to write & edit, and do proper investigative reporting. Most bloggers are hacks suffering from the mind-scours.

3. Should a successful blog: a) charge to read it? b) Accept Ads? c) Ask for donations? d) Stay free, free as the wind blows?

CYN: In a perfect world, stay free, free as the wind. However, if the blogger needs to ask for donations or put ads on their blog to generate income, it doesn't bother me. Especially if it is a blog I follow on a regular basis. I would rather donate than see it shut down.

F: Stay free. I don’t accept ads, I wish blogs were free of ads. I prefer a Net more resistant to consumerism and capitalism. I wish I’d started on WordPress, not Google’s E-Blogger. But, tech- challenged, as I began a few years ago, it’s too late now given the search engine tilts. And, I have a corporation giving me access gratis to make my blog. So, there’s a hidden charge, no free lunch.
JWS: a. no. b. yes. c. yes. d. no.

LI: I don't know about charging readers, but I don't see any problem with accepting ads or asking for donations. Regular blogging can take time.

TAM: Computers and the internet place us at the potential dawn of a new social order, with a truly "free" market where people give things away for self-actualization. Kinda like Star Trek.

II The Blogosphere
4. Person you'd like to see blogging who doesn't?

CYN: Madeleine Albright. She fascinates me.

F: Some of my egghead but populist friends in Ireland and here, who prefer anonymity due to their fears of surveillance.

JWS: Edie Falco.

LI: Seriously. She's brilliant, funny and a great writer. I just have to nab her before TC does.

TAM: John Mellencamp.

5. Does Perez Hilton hurt or help blogs being taken seriously?

CYN: I have no idea as I never knew she had a blog. However, sight unseen, I don't think it would make a difference.

F: I could care less. TMZ and C-Span both serve as entertainment in the media we’re dished out. Any arena will attract the strutters and ballhogs as well as us waterboys and peanut vendors. Bloggers are caricatured as kooks by the mainstream, but the MSM funds and uses them too. I think FB or whatever future medium rises will erode blogs more, as people read less. Scanning and Twitter and instant updates also substitute for what a few years ago blogs provided as a method to share tidbits and finds on and off the Net. E-mail dwindles as people don’t use that to share information as links or photos or articles among a list of friends, and as with discussion lists in the late 90s, blogs may fade more in this respect.

JWS: He has no affect.

LI: Not for me to say. Not all blogs should be taken seriously to begin with. Similarly, not all

newspapers should be taken seriously. The National Enquirer or the NYT, for example.

TAM: Who's Perez Hilton?

6. Is the Huffington Post a blog, a newspaper, or something else?

CYN: A blog, and all blogs are not alike.

F: It replaces Time Magazine as a compendium of a safe political slant-- combined with pop culture and stupid photos & videos that I admit being surprised to find. I don’t read it but I get links to it via FB posts by friends now and then. This is what the MSM is evolving towards.

JWS: Something else.

LI: A newspaper, because it repeats talking points.

TAM: It's the air-sickness bag of the proglydite Weltanschauung.

7. Are Kos and Drudge journalists, politicos, or something else?

CYN: In my opinion, politicos.

F: They began as pioneer investigators, but as celebrity bloggers, they’ve capitulated to MSM corporate approval.

JWS: Something else.

LI: Tough question. I'm not even sure if they're human.

TAM: They're two little hitlers who'll fight it out until one little hitler does the other one's will.

III The Art of Blogging
8. Worst sin(s) a blogger can make?

CYN: Knowingly posting lies or advancing an opinion on behalf of someone who pays you to do so.

F: Not revealing sponsorship or perks.

JWS: Thinking they matter more than they do.

LI: Banning people for financial or business reasons.

TAM: Writing when they have nothing to say; Cut & paste; Blogging Under the Influence.

9. The perfect blog post would ...

CYN: Inform me, charm me and make me laugh.

F: Distinguish between cut & paste blather and original insights that the author labored over rather than plagiarized or paraphrased.

JWS: Link to my blog.

LI: Make people think, and laugh.

TAM: Put something in a new light for me.

10. Ideal length of a blog post?

CYN: Personally, so long as it keeps my attention, it doesn't matter.

F: Less than most of mine. 750-1000 words max?

JWS: Depends on the topic.

LI: It would depend on the subject of the post and whether it's an open thread.

TAM: I've retained the self-editing habits from writing for print materials with physical size constraints:
• Daily comment on news: <= 500 words • Weekly observation/rant: 750 - 1,000 words • Monthly philosophizing: 1,500 - 2,000 words. • If you have anything longer, send it to the New Yorker.


11. Ideal format: Minimalist or Glitzy?


CYN: What ever floats your boat or reflects the

personality of the blog.


F: Minimal. I hate distractions. But I do like decorating the margins with artworks and piddling with colors. Google is not as generous as I’d have anticipated with how you can customize your templates.


JWS: Minimal.


LI: I prefer glitzy, but I'm a girl.


TAM: Minimalist.


12. Real-life human activity blogging most emulates?


CYN: Dear diary...


F: Chatting with friends about ideas, issues, and trends. Or talking to yourself. Some may say masturbation in public, but haven’t writers, actors, and creative types been long accused by puritans and prudes?


JWS: Walking.


LI: Telling your children you'd like to do what you can to make the world a better place for them.


TAM: Singing in the shower.


IV Your Blogging Goals


13. Head-in-the-clouds goal for your blog:


CYN: I really don't take my blog that seriously.


F: To gain a patron & recognition for my brilliant acumen so I never have to work again. I keep expecting a MacArthur Grant in my inbox. Acclaim from the academy so I land instant tenure and I can get time to write books rather than entries every other day. I stopped daily blogging when I realized how few people cared about it. But that led to a backlog of dozens of entries, ironically enough!


JWS: Huge profits.


LI: Loyal regulars.


TAM: To have both Rush Limbaugh and Keith Olbermann on the same day mention with disgust the same TLN post.


14. Feet-on-the-ground goal:


CYN: Possibly transfer my blog from Blogger to Wordpad.


F: To keep it up until I die or until some other medium evolves that I can afford to replace it. I feel it’s like a term paper that’s always near due, and it keeps me locked into a self-imposed schedule. It keeps my mind fresher and my thoughts more ordered, as I pretend I have an audience that gets me out of my own self-glorification and makes me aware of the fact someone may take me to account. I have made friends whom I’ve gone on to meet in the “real world,” and that pleases me no end, as such contacts in my daily life are non-existent regarding such comradeship.


JWS: Keep going.


LI: Loyal regulars


TAM: I get lots of hits, but want more comments.


15. Any changes, improvements. additions you'd like to make to your blog?


CYN: I pretty much change my blog design when I get bored with how it looks.


F: I’d like the Google E-Blogger templates to allow more alterations for a tech-challenged type. But now that they have started charging $10 for template changes of some sorts, I wonder. WordPress seems the only competition, but it’s as I mentioned a bit too late to migrate. The Google formats constrict you even as they make it dumbbell-accessible, an inevitable compromise to put such html intricacies in the hands of the huddled masses.


JWS: Yes. There are.


LI: I wish it looked more glamorous, but there's only so many things you can do with wordpress.


TAM: Tags and shit.


16. If you were paid full-time to blog, would you do it?


CYN: No. I would feel stifled.


F: Yes, but I’d prefer a MacArthur grant renewed in perpetuity. I might hate blogging if it was my job. As a hobby, it’s fine.


JWS: Yes.

LI: Absolutely.


TAM: Twist my arm. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This concludes our 1st Roundtable. I wish to thank tamerlane and my co-roundtable-ers for taking the time to put this together. It's been lots of fun and I look forward to the next round of the Roundtable.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Friday, September 10, 2010

Domestic Violence and Plea Deals

Please, please, please. This is an action alert. Click the link here and let this Prosecutor know that we are mad as hell and we are not going to take it anymore.

And, pass this on.

Thank you for standing up

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Hypocrite President

As is my habit, I wake up each morning and listen to C-Span. This morning I awoke earlier than usual and was subjected to Obama's speech from last evening. I had no intention of watching this speech, as I am sick of being talked at by a whiny voiced professor.

What I heard was clear. The man who ran for the presidency on his "no vote" for the war was now George W. Bush, spouting how we've done so many wonderful things for the Iraqi people. What a wonderful war this was! We are such wonderful leaders of the free world!

This President, in a very short time, has morphed into exactly what the last president was - a corporate shill willing to put American lives on the line because he isn't strong enough to end the lies. The sellout didn't take very long at all.

In my opinion, this speech has done more to harm than good to his plunging poll numbers.

Oh, and if you are interested, you can read about all of the wasteful spending on this war here via JohnWSmart