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day permlink Thursday, 6 March 2003

permlink Medley hits

Medley's been chock full of good bits recently, particularly today's lashing of yet-another One True Way to Weblog crowd. (Funny, none of those crowds seem to agree with each other..).
Let's see, you must have comments, you must use trackback, you must have an about page, you must provide an RSS feed, you must have a blogroll, and so on. No, no, no. Here's Medley's 'rule': You must write something interesting. Period. Now sure, I have preferences, I like it when people have an about page. Comments can sometimes be interesting. Poor font choices can be a turnoff. And so forth. But, the point of online personal publishing is personal expression!! Bah.
Another fine Medley post was on resilience , discussing useful things we could be doing to "be ready" for another attack but which no one in the government is bothering to tell people to do.
...get into shape! If something happens, you may be stuck walking for miles to get home. Or you may need to drag someone out of a subway car. Or who knows? But the better shape you're in, the easier any of that will be. And always wear (or have) comfortable shoes. [I'm thinking of the looong escalators at some Metro stops... one has a lot of stair-climbing to do if the power is cut out - SEB]

[C]ompanies should encourage telecommuting. ... [then] we've reduced the number of targets and made it easier for emergency workers in the event of an attack. Spread the population out more and the number of casualties will be reduced.

...Most important, I think, is the idea that people should be thinking about how best to reduce vulnerability and be resilient in the event of another attack. Instead of cowering or panicking or depending on Tom Ridge, let's be Americans about this: pragmatic, resourceful, independent, and gutsy. From individuals to corporations to government at all levels, we can all do much better than we have in making sure our society and the values we hold dear endure in the face of barbarism.
Finally, I echo her timely reminder to support the ACLU. The absolutist religion driven out by a slightly-different absolutist religion could be yours. Government should stay out of fights over the afterlife. ("Here it is written: you are going to Hell." "No, it is written here that you're going to Hell!" Repeat and fade, without involving the legislature.) permlink  

permlink meditation

Spam of Consciousness

Using more words doesn't make you more right or more interesting.
"Bogart, sick of SPAM? here is solution"
Constant webloggers are the loudest.
"Everyone else is advertising with bulk email - find out what you're missing"
Few people have either a personal fortune or tenure, and so can't blog constantly for long. This is not unfair, it simply is.
"pay less interest 57281914119876554443"
Usenet is a pain in the ass, with no really good GUI client since Newswatcher faded; this is why people try to reinvent it on the web.
"Bogart circumdant Invest Smarter!"
Look at this wheel I just reinvented! Now everyone should do it my way!
I smell war today. permlink  

permlink Cheneys annoyed at website? Awww.

The Cheneys made a classic mistake in December that's just now getting airplay: they sent a nasty letter to a parody website demanding that it take down a page about Lynne Cheney that really got up their nose.

It seems they have no legal leg to stand on given Mrs. Cheney's status as a public figure (sometime CNN commentator, Chairman of the NEH, strategist for the American Enterprise Institute...). Therefore, the effect of the letter (originally sent to the wrong address!) was to get the site's URL and excerpts from its content plastered all over C-SPAN and the New York Times today.

Uhh, smart move there, BigTime. Did you really not foresee this likely consequence of sending the letter? (And this guy's advising the President on war strategy? Bojemoi.)

Web Site Hears From Dick Cheney After Parody Involving Wife [NY Times]
After receiving the request in a letter from Mr. Cheney's counsel, the Web site doctored the photographs of Mrs. Cheney, adding a red clown nose and blackening out one of her front teeth, said its creator John A. Wooden.

The [New York Civil Liberties Union] also noted the Web site's depiction of the presidential seal with a vulture, not an eagle.

"No reasonable person would ever think that this Web site is sponsored or endorsed by the United States government," the civil liberties group said.
Indeed. Useful things, those civil liberties groups. This is America: people can self-publish things you don't like, even if you're the Vice President. permlink  

permlink The Press Gaggle: Fleischer-watching

Via yesterday's Note, here's a site devoted to (apparently) chronicling how well Ari Fleischer handles the White House press corps: The Press Gaggle. The site actually says nothing about its goals, it just quotes a brief snippet from each day's press conference. I think he/she is singling out instances where Fleischer is playing overly-fussy semantic cop or somehow ingratiating himself with a reporter (or with the group at the expense of a reporter) and, coincidentally, avoiding having to answer anything of substance.

Or maybe it's just me. There's certainly some logic underlying the choices, though.

I've never liked Ari Fleischer; in the 2000 campaign he was astonishingly slippery and dishonest in all the press interviews I saw, saying that Bush didn't say what you just heard him say, or how it really was good for $interest_group despite all logic to the contrary, or some similar spin. To be fair, though, he had an equally weaselly opponent in Chris Lehane (Gore's spokesman), who was so slimy I couldn't watch him for any length of time without overwhelming distaste.

Maybe it's inherent in the job (C.J. Cregg notwithstanding), but I don't remember the last few presidents' spokesfolk being this... bad.

Update: Ah, it is just me. Today's Note says it's a pro-Fleischer site by a 17-year-old, "meant to highlight Mr. Fleischer's underreported humor". Aha. Well, apparently one can't be too cynical. permlink  

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