Bill Bradley explains how the Republicans are btter organized than the Democrats. NYT - login: cantbeatbug password: cantbeatbug.
From an email I sent to a few friends in response to media focus on the mundane, yet sensational (Atlanta Court Murders) as opposed to the potentially world-changing (Beirut demonstrations):
"There is little doubt that cable news, even my
sainted FoxNews is about ratings.
Why else would the last week (and in fact this is only
internet news, since the TV has been playing DVD's
like Fawlty Towers in a loop this week - spring break!
woo hoo!) the news has been swamped with Terry
Schiavo. Even such noted bloggers as
Paul and Ferlie and
Chronicles of Tobermory
have been on the story.
Does it really matter if some guy in Florida (it's
always florida, isn't it) pulls the plug on his
brain-damaged wife? Grandstanding congressmen
(steroids!, steriods? c'mon) and tearjerking newscasts
are why people like us pick & choose our news from the
With only my poli sci, history, and info junkie
experience to guide me, I think that there will be
change in a few places, like Lebanon, where the
baseless Syrian occupation has finally come under
scutiny, and I think you will see a loosening of
electoral freedom in largely westernized Egypt and
then a lot of lipservice and small, easily reversible,
reforms in the absolute monarchies. One can hope
that this will lead to democratic movements in Iran
(which has large democratic youth movement), and other
theocracies, monarchies & dictatorships (Libya
Sort of like Enlightenment era changes in Britain &
America & France (beware violent revolutions) and the
lip service that Prussia, Austria & Russia paid to
enlightenment reform, before reverting to a tightened
The more recent, and often cited examples, maybe the
Berlin Wall in a few places - Iraq & Lebanon - &
possibly Tiananmen Square in others - Saudi.
Westerners must remember that change like this can
take a lot of time. I just read an article about the
economic problems of Germany that stem from
reunification (& I suspect, largely socialist economic
policies). It has been 15 years & they are still
sorting it out.
I think it is arrogant to believe that becuase people in the
Middle East do not have a democratic tradition, they don't
want to be free. Sounds a bit like Hobbes
_Leviathan_, assuming that people cannot handle
freedom and must be ruled by a powerful ruler. If
Locke & the social contract has worked for the West,
why can't it work for the Middle East?
Our friends, Paul and Ferlie, are looking into the house next door - "Agents searched Ringman's 4407 W. Pleasant Acres Drive home and seized $8,000 in cash and more than a pound of marijuana" - Link. It has been privately owned since November 2002.
These guys - EFF Homepage - have been around since the early 90's, when the internet was The WELL and Compuserve and are in the middle of the Grokster Supreme Court case, which should update the 1984 Betamax ruling that legalized VCRs, establishing the legality of internet technologies, including file-sharing. Thank the Law of Averages for them.
Johnny "Vegas" Wales was a particularly smelly resident of The Mallet Assembly, the honors dorm I lived in and then was director of, at The University of Alabama in the late nineties. He left school to go work for his brother's internet company, which turned out to be Bomis. Now it seems that Vegas' brother is the guy behind Wikipedia - Wired 13.03: The Book Stops Here.
I am an info-geek - "We must have information". I have almanacs for the last 15 years, but I hardly use them anymore because I can find anything, anytime, on the internet. Of course, this can be a huge distraction from getting things done.
Of course this has meant less attention to my own link-blogging, especially since I have gotten CRL to give me the morning's best news/opinion/science at Chronicles of Tobermory. Also, our friends Paul and Ferlie have a newborn, Veronica & I have been keeping up with them on their blogs. Our friends Billy & Beth have a five month-old, Jack, who will one day be a Left Tackle for Alabama it appears. Billy came to visit a couple of weeks ago & we cooked huge steaks. My dad came to visit last Sunday & I cooked ribs & made my sauce. Company & cooking meat go together around here.
At work/school we gave the graduation exam, so it was unproductive all week teaching-wise. However I had drilled my 10th graders with the info necessary to pass the test. I expect to blow the top off of the test. It's not really that hard to pass, and I harrassed them with the info so much, maybe they can not have to deal with that one again. (I found an interesting dodge to the exam - in Maine.)
My home state may be taking a beating on sex toys, but at least the students at the University of Alabama are standing up to the Faculty Senate over free speech and "hate speech codes. Not the first time students have stood up - the University, more than once, has tried to stop the diplay of flags in dorm windows. The pictures are from the Mallet Assembly, in Byrd Hall, where we once lived and were a live-in advisor. Other links - here , here, here, and here.