Monthly Archives: June 2004

Major Republicans Turning On Bush

“I would not have voted for [President Bush's] tax cut, based on what I know. . . . There is no doubt that the people at the top who need a tax break the least will get the most benefit. . . . Too often presidents do things that don’t end up helping the people they should be helping, and their staffs won’t tell them their actions stink on ice.”: Former senator Jesse Helms (R-N.C.), in a recent interview with Business North Carolina magazine (WashingtonPost).

Extremism

Maybe Jeff Jarvis has started a discussion from the center. I hope so.

Yesterday he posted a quote from a far left extremist. Yes, the far left has them too. And it’s important to recognize that their motivations are ultimately as bad as the far right’s. He attacks the media for its role in helping encourage the divide in America.

I’ll add another to the list of “dupes or coconspirators” as he puts them: marketers. Their need to send messages as directly as possible to potential customers creates smaller and smaller pockets of shared experience. It takes something amazingly huge to break across demographics any more. Look at the number of big news stories that would have brought down earlier Presidents and now they come, they are talked about for a few minutes, the stories don’t take hold, and they fade from consciousness. Jeff Jarvis would blame technology and say that is due to the freedom that the remote control and cable gives us. But I would say that they are just tools. Powerful enabling tools. Tools that marketers have used to segment and divide audiences into sellable slices of population.

OK… off my soap box now.

Olliver Willis joins in the conversation with a defensive post, decrying those that would call him an Extremist for wanting Bush out of office or being against the Iraq war.

Of course you’re an extremist Oliver. You?re walking down the center of the road:

“Frank: I’ve walked a white line my entire life, I’m not about to screw that up.
Nada: White line’s in the middle of the road, that’s the worst place to walk. “: From the cult classic: They Live.

We are encouraged not to walk that line. We are encouraged to join with our fellow lefties and righties one either side to take up the cause.

Both Oliver Willis and Jeff Jarvis are walking the line. I’m walking that line right with them. Millions of Americans are there too and will show themselves on election day.

America thought it was getting a President, in Mr. Bush, who would unite and not divide. We were wrong.

Elect a President who will attempt to run the country from the center. Help Elect John Kerry.

The More The Distance, The Easier The Violence, Or The Flame

Mark Bernstein blamed the confusion and flamefest that occured in a particular weblog community on comment and trackback usage. He suggested turning off both and relying on weblog front pages for communication. I disagree.

Flamefests, whether in user comments or on weblog front pages, are not in the best interests of one on one communication. There is a tremendous threat to the person being communicated to of being defined by it. Weblog postings get cached, linked to, and syndicated by thousands, making one on one communication, which is already hard enough in person, to have the additional weight of thousands of on lookers and potential band waggoners.

The more personal the contact, the less likely the violence. The more remote the exchange, the easier it is and more likely, for spears to be thrown.

I prefer e-mail or voice to weblog postings for one on one communication and find those that attempt to criticize/help another person from their weblogs without attempting at least e-mail first to be suspect. If you mean to have true one on one discussion, then you got to go to the most intimate means of communication.

It’s not the tools fault. It’s the people who refuse to come a little closer to talk. Just like so many other problems in this world.

Model Rockets Don’t Kill People – People Do

Not enough hobbyists to make bones over this but I just find it sad. Model rocketry was a great hobby to have as a kid and the couple summers my brother and me could do it, well it was special.

It’s especially galling since after 9/11 all government lists ? including voter registration, immigration and driver?s license lists ? were checked for links to terrorists except one: specifically prohibited was the F.B.I. from examining background checks on gun purchasers. Source dangerousmeta, whose source was Noonday in the Shade (NYTimes).