Monthly Archives: January 2004

No one tells me who I can link to

Weblog A disses Weblog B. Weblog C says if you don’t stop pointing to Weblog A it will de-list you.

Internet lesson for Weblog C: Linking is an expression of free speech. By linking to both sides of a debate I expand the conversation. I will not be told who I can link to or who I cannot. You bite off your nose to spite your face pulling stunts like this.

Oh yeah Weblog C – get a RSS feed will ya? It will get you more traffic.

A Big Week

Lots has happened in the news and on the web this week. Here goes my weekly update of items I find post-worthy:

Iowa has set the Democratic party straight. My friends now believe there is a fighting chance to take back the White House. Monday was a bad day for the Bush Administration. Kerry’s comeback (CNN) is very impressive. The press had all but killed his candidacy by panning him as “boring” and “aloof” (ya know.. like that other “loser” Al Gore), but Kerry and the grounded folks in Iowa have set the party straight. I can’t be happier seeing him and Edwards rise against the predictions of the pundits – who I believe are manipulated like little marionettes by the Bush campaign and the Right – however unwittingly.

I think it’s important that “in opting for John Kerry and John Edwards over Howard Dean, (Iowans) signaled (among other things) that they want a presidential candidate who is serious about fighting the war against the Islamist totalitarianism threatening open societies.” (NYTimes) It used to be the Democrats who were the party of defense and belief that American ideals are universal ideals (think Kennedy and Roosevelt). Somewhere along the way, the Republicans, traditionally a party of isolationism, has appropriated the theme and made it their own. Fighting for freedom is what liberals should do. Freedom doesn’t come cheap or easy. People have died to give us these freedoms and they are not to be taken lightly. Get it back in your head.

Kerry is a threat. And the Bush campaign will put out bad vibes to shake confidence in him yet again. You can bet on it… oh – they already have (Philadelphia Inquirer via Scripting News)!

Thank you Iowa.

So… how many of you watched the State of the Union? Like Bill Maher I gotta wonder – where was the state of the union mentioned in the speech? I tell ya – Bush is a master politician. He triangulates better then Clinton and has set up his re-election bid in a big way. But whenever he claims the center… it’s all talk and little real action. For example, last year he pledged to fight AIDS in Africa. This year there was no mention at all. Why would that be I wonder?

What if Watergate happened all over again and nobody cared? Republican staff members of the US Senate Judiciary Commitee infiltrated opposition computer files for a year, monitoring secret strategy memos and periodically passing on copies to the media (Boston Globe)! Watch this news story go nowhere fast. Too many people on both sides look bad.

Another news story I expect to get little play in the mainstream: David Kay, who led the search for Iraqi weapons (for the Bush Administration), said he now believes there were no stockpiles (Philadelphia Inquirer). He resigned.

Bob Keeshan, better known as Captain Kangaroo has passed away. (Patriot Ledger). God bless him and his family.

Hey, have you seen furl? A great concept, well executed, and a new way of using the web. (via Scripting News).

Another site to check out is musicplasma. Type in a band and it attempts (very well I might add) to guess other bands you might be interested in. A little slow, but the pretty neat.

Have you seen the Mazda RX-8 Transformer transformation? At Mazda’s own site!

Star Wars video games are hit and miss. Battle of Endor, freeware from Bruno R. Marcos, is a hit. Lots of fun.

And Bill, I gotta second your feelings about mr. dangerousmeta. Garret has moved his site to WordPress from MoveableType and it is a beaut.

Shelley has thankfully overcome a directed comment spammer attack.

Lots of people are doing Dean re-mixes, but I really like Al Hawkins’s Garageband composed tune. Put a smile on my face :)

And as for Philly Blogs the name change is on! I have a new name… or rather an old name that got stolen by porn spammers two years ago. Nice to have it back. Thanks to those who made suggestions :)

Martin Luther King, Jr.

I am convinced that if we are to get on the right side of the world revolution, we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. We must rapidly begin the shift from a “thing-oriented” society to a “person-oriented” society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered.

A true revolution of values will soon cause us to question the fairness and justice of many of our past and present policies. On the one hand we are called to play the good Samaritan on life’s roadside; but that will be only an initial act. One day we must come to see that the whole Jericho road must be transformed so that men and women will not be constantly beaten and robbed as they make their journey on life’s highway. True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar; it is not haphazard and superficial. It comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring. A true revolution of values will soon look uneasily on the glaring contrast of poverty and wealth. With righteous indignation, it will look across the seas and see individual capitalists of the West investing huge sums of money in Asia, Africa and South America, only to take the profits out with no concern for the social betterment of the countries, and say: “This is not just.” It will look at our alliance with the landed gentry of Latin America and say: “This is not just.” The Western arrogance of feeling that it has everything to teach others and nothing to learn from them is not just. A true revolution of values will lay hands on the world order and say of war: “This way of settling differences is not just.” This business of burning human beings with napalm, of filling our nation’s homes with orphans and widows, of injecting poisonous drugs of hate into veins of people normally humane, of sending men home from dark and bloody battlefields physically handicapped and psychologically deranged, cannot be reconciled with wisdom, justice and love. A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.

America, the richest and most powerful nation in the world, can well lead the way in this revolution of values.

Words spoken by Martin Luther King, Jr. one year before his death (pdf). People have a one dimensional, simplisitic view of him. Dig deeper folks. Dig deeper (CSMonitor).

More at Stanford’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Papers Project.

Related reading for today is slactivist’s post Lifeboats for first class passengers, Garret’s sending along A Poor Cousin of the Middle Class (NYTimes), Do citizens really want these jobs? (CSMonitor) and The Wal-Mart You Don’t Know (Fastcompany).

Eagles Lose And Hearts Are Broken (Again)

We have a inferiority complex in Philly – there is too much talk about “destiny” and there are too many who lay the blame for not having a national sports title in twenty or so years at it’s feet (WashingtonPost). I believe in teams giving it their best – and when destiny hands you an opportunity – you take it – last night the other team did so.

So here goes some Monday morning quarterbacking… I rarely do this here but like many in Philly I’m pissed and want to vent:

People, right on que, are starting to blame McNabb and Coach Reid – and that’s a shame because they miss the point – football is a team sport and at the championship level requires more then just one player pulling everone else up:

All of the blame for the Eagles’ demise should not be pinned on McNabb. His top two receivers – James Thrash and Todd Pinkston – combined for one catch for 9 yards and rarely got open against the Panthers’ secondary. The Eagles dropped a total of six passes.

Carolina’s Ricky Manning, a rookie cornerback who said that he was unimpressed with the Eagles’ receivers leading up to the game, showed even less respect for them on the field. He finished the day with three interceptions, including one in the third quarter after a jarring hit by safety Mike Minter caused Thrash to lose the all.

Read the rest in the Inquirer.

I have to add: While that hit on McNabb may have been legal – it was one of the most low down shots I’ve ever seen. You know the Panthers wanted to take McNabb out of the game – and they got away with it. Lets hope the Eagles keep some of the players they may lose (how can they lose Duce?!?!) – and get in some new receivers.

Thanks for another great run Eagles!

Philly Blogs Now Shows Headlines

The Philly Blogs list is now alive with headlines from my favorite Phildelphia related webloggers, updated every half hour :)

Thanks to Dave Winer, who pointed to Blogger Storm, who kept their link credit to mt-rssfeed.

For my purposes, I had to implement something that had a few more features then the BloggerStorm folks. It’s worthy of a longer post, maybe even a how-to piece.

Note to Philly webloggers not publishing RSS: Start doing so and start getting more readers.

Oh – you do recognize the shade of green donchya? Just showing my colors for tomorrow.

In All Sorts Of Different Directions…

A mixed bag from all over the place to share, but I just gotta do it…

Mark’s band The Phoenix Trap, is on iTunes. Awesome!

For an addictive video game that is so simple and small it will blow your mind, check out BallDroppings. I love this thing. Under 1 meg!

There are two very large inferences that can be drawn from comments like these and, more broadly, from the current debate over national security issues in policy institutes, academia and professional journals. One is that the Bush administration stands very, very far from the foreign-policy mainstream: liberal Democrats, conservative Democrats and moderate Republicans have more in common with one another than any of them have with the Bush administration. The other conclusion is that the administration’s claim that 9/11 represents such a decisive break with the past that many of the old principles no longer apply is right — but the new principles need not be the ones the administration has advanced. A different administration could have adapted to 9/11 in a very different way. And this is why national security should be, at least potentially, such a rich target of opportunity for a Democratic candidate.

Read the rest in the The Things They Carry (NYTimes).

NASA’s “Spirit” mission to Mars has been breathtaking. Spaceflight Now is the place to go for rapid updates.

First we might begin by asking, to what degree has the media turned to pure speculation? Someone could do a study of this and present facts, but nobody has. I certainly won’t. There’s no reason to bother. The requirement that you demonstrate a factual basis for your claim vanished long ago. It went out with the universal praise for Susan Faludi’s book Backlash, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award for General Nonfiction in 1991, and which presented hundreds of pages of quasi-statistical assertions based on a premise that was never demonstrated and that was almost certainly false.

But that’s old news. I merely refer to it now to set standards.

Today, of course everybody knows that ?Hardball,? ?Rivera Live? and similar shows are nothing but a steady stream of guesses about the future. The Sunday morning talk shows are pure speculation. They have to be. Everybody knows there’s no news on Sunday.

Read the rest of Michael Crichton’s 2002 speech to the International Leadership Forum.

Ever wonder how those free-speech zones get set up (SFGate)?

Like to develop an Internet Explorer toolbar with .NET (The Code Project)?

Yahoo is going to dump Google (Slashdot).

GWBush’s latest move of political genius looks compassionate and kicks the low skilled American worker’s ass (Yahoo). Isn’t it the gun lobby who said we don’t need new laws – just the current ones obeyed?!? That’s George Bush for ya – President for hard working, tax paying, law abiding Americans!

Oh, and btw, Dolphins are evolving opposable thumbs (Onion) and are due to become the dominant species on Earth.