Saturday, May 31, 2003
I ran across a throwaway phrase on Dustbury that I found to be absolutely fabulous:
...Congresspersons suffering from Deficit Inattention Disorder...
I googled the phrase, and found only one cite (in context), also from Dustbury. As it turns out, it's not a real quote, just one of those weird google phantom hits. So it appears that this is the first ever use of the phrase.
Deficit Inattention Disorder. I love it.
Chaz, register it now.
posted at 07:19 PM | permalink | Comments (0)
How many buzzwords do you have on your blog? Do you speak normally, or do you have an inpenetrable mass of techno-geekspeak or marketspeak in your posts? Check out Buzzword-O-Meter and check it out.
Just for grins, I ran my page through, and came up with these results:
Compare with InstaPundit:
(Link courtesy of Daley News.)
posted at 03:59 PM | permalink | Comments (4)
Am I the only one who is having (even more than normal) trouble accessing Blogspot-based blogs? I tried hitting five of them this morning, and only one of them came up at all, after a three-minute load time. Blogspot has been slow of late, but this is becoming ridiculous...
I'm working on the revised bloglist thing. Dead blogs or blogs on extended hiatus are going to be moved to a section down at the bottom of the list. I'm also going to have sections for Seattle-area blogs and for military bloggers.
I'll be posting later today, once I get the list worked out.
posted at 12:17 PM | permalink | Comments (2)
Friday, May 30, 2003
I linked to this one via The Same Page.
posted at 08:12 PM | permalink | Comments (0)
Despite a controversial recent history, it has had
a tough and powerful history. A modern-day
technological and cultural beacon, it is still
target to stereotypes and antiquited thoughts.
Target of Historical Fervor.
Funny-Looking Ethnic Clothing.
Which Country of the World are You?
brought to you by Quizilla
It's Bush's fault
E. J. Dionne's column appearing in today's Seattle Times takes note of the bitter partisan tone in Washington, and blames it all on George W. Bush.
Yes, that's right. It's all Bush's fault.
Dionne is frustrated because for the first time in 40 years, the Republicans control all three elected portions of the government (the presidency and both chambers of congress), and now they are using their narrow majority (with a good deal of party discipline) to pass their agenda, something that they had never been able to do before without support from conservative Democrats.
One paragraph is particularly amusing:
This is a shock to congressional Democrats, most of whom came to political maturity under the old arrangements that placed a heavy emphasis on comity and the search for the political center. In all the years when progressive interest groups and foundations were attacking partisanship as a dismal force in politics, conservatives such as presidential adviser Karl Rove, antitax activist Grover Norquist, Tom DeLay and, yes, Newt Gingrich, were building a great Republican machine. The new tax bill is a monument to their success.
Oh, yes. Progressive groups such as People for the American Way were above partisanship. Presidential advisors such as Paul Begala and James Carville never attacked the Republicans. Environmental activists were stictly non-partisan, and Democratic party politicians such as Richard Gephardt and Barney Frank never stooped to criticizing GOP initiatives. Please.
Another paragraph has a flash of realization:
One influential Senate Democrat insisted that his party's problem is not the deficiency of its "message " but its lack of a "delivery system." Democrats, he says, are now playing catch-up to Republicans who have created a powerful "echo chamber" for their themes through talk radio, cable television, research institutes and lobbying networks. There is, of course, a phrase that describes what the GOP has done. It's called party-building.
And it's something that the Democratic Party realized long before the GOP. It wasn't until the 1980's that the GOP began using grass-roots lobbying efforts to get their message out. By that time, the Democratic Party had become complacent, and had forgotten how to communicate their message. By the time they had found their voice again, they discovered that much of their message did not appeal to the American people, who were tired of the party's tired, shopworn ideas. Even with their control over the Broadcast TV networks, CNN, MSNBC, the major newspapers, and newsmagazines such as Time and Newsweek, the Democratic party could not convince the average American that they were the party that best represented their views and values.
Dionne fails to point out any of the notably partisan hacks from the left side, such as the coordinated attacks against Charles Pickering, Priscilla Owen, and Miguel Estrada, the repeated attempts to tie Bush to scandals that don't exist (the media spin their wheels for a few days, but they never gain any tractioni because there is no substance to the scandals they are trying to create out of thin air), former Clinton advisors who have become freelance attack dogs (The aforementioned Carville and Begala, and Sidney Blumenthal, among others), and Democratic Party backbenchers and activists who make Tom DeLay look like Suzy Sunshine (Maxine Waters, "Baghdad Jim" McDermott, Charles Schumer, and many more). It's a problem from both sides, but Dionne's blinders prevent him from seeing anything other than GOP misdeeds.
Additionally, Dionne is so eager to bash Bush that he fails to see (or ignores) one of the biggest sources of partisanshipthe dysfunctional primary system. Ideologues of both parties are starting to take over the primary process, and for many congressional races, the centrist candidates don't have much of a chance. (Contrast this with presidential races, where the candidates closer to the center are more likely to be nominated). The "moderates" in both parties are much less influential than they were in the past; as they leave office, they are replaced with increasingly partisan ideologues who see little point in working with members of the other party. Until the primary system changes, hyperpartisanship will be the rule, not the exception.
posted at 04:43 PM | permalink | Comments (0)
White privelege and Jayson Blair
John Leo wrote a column last week which linked Jayson Blair's journalistic transgressions with diversity programs, and opined that individual merit and common standards should be the basis of hiring or acceptance. Predictably, Seattle's liberals rushed to pile on to Leo, accusing him of racism and bias. One of the letters, however, caught my eye, and prompted me to write a bit more about the issue.
After going through a swipe against the corrupt white CEO's in the news, followed by the de rigeur "Jayson Blair is a fine writer" blather (which is true, but totally misses the point of Leo's column), the letter writer states that whites have privileges which benefit them in our culture: eight times the equity, control of most of the capital, centuries of clubs, fraternities, educated families, and the "white" way in which this society functions. This is where he is off-base. *Some* whites have lots of equity, *some* whites control most of the capital, *some* whites have ancestors who belonged to powerful and influential organizations. These alleged benefits have no impact on those who do not share these attributes. The last enumerated benefit (the "white" way in which this society functions) is baffling, and strikes me as racist. It needs to be explained, because it is simultaneously condescending towards minorities and exceptionally insulting towards whites.
The writer appears to believe that circumstances at birth are the strongest influence on one's future life. If that is the case, how is it that 63 percent of the 2001 Forbes 400 (their annual ranking of the richest Americans) are described as "self-made"? Oh, to be sure, there are those who have inherited their wealth (Sam Walton's wife and children, the DuPont family, the Rockefellers and the Johnson & Johnson heirs for example), but American society isn't a stratified society as in India; we don't have the rigid caste system where one's birth station defines their existence. If it were so, sharecropper's daughter Oprah Winfrey would not be one of the 400 wealthiest people in America, and greeting card salesman H. Ross Perot would not be number 47. Dirt poor Marcus Bernard and Arthur Blank would not have founded Home Depot, and they would not be the 60th and the 136th richest Americans. Univeristy of Texas dropout Michael Dell certainly would not be the 11th wealthiest American, with a personal fortune in excess of $11 billion.
In relation to Jayson Blair, the whites against which he was competing were not the products of wealth and privelege. Reporters are generally *not* from wealthy families; columnists and publishers are often a different story, but Blair was a reporter. The white co-workers who were passed over in order to promote Blair were simply victims of discrimination; they accrued none of the alleged benefits of being white, but also failed to accrue points for being a member of a racial minority. Where is the benefit to anyone other than to Jayson Blair?
As the writer pointed out, Jayson Blair was a skilled writer. That is beside the point. It is not why he was promoted rapidly, and it is not why the management ignored his past bouts of falsified reporting (dating back to his days as a college reporter). When similar misdeeds are committed by white reporters, they are swiftly canned. Mike Bragg is a case in point. Does anyone seriously think that if Jayson Blair had been white, he would have survived as long as he did in the politicized environment of the Times newsroom?
posted at 10:33 AM | permalink | Comments (0)
Thursday, May 29, 2003
Before someone brings it up, I know there is a lot of linkrot on the list on the right. I will be fixing it over the next few days. I am probably going to thin out the list, too.
posted at 12:19 PM | permalink | Comments (0)
What a long, strange trip it has been...
Blogging will resume tonight.
posted at 12:06 PM | permalink | Comments (4)