Wonderful and Contentious Changes

Frontier’s kernel to be open sourced! (Scripting.com).

Movable Type gets a new license structure and terms.

The trend of some great webloggers migrating from Movable Type to other alternatives accelerates. It was already underway anyway. Whenever us tech geeks see something new and promising, we gotta try it. There is still plenty of room for competition in the weblog software space. Check out opensourceCMS.

He Was From Philadelphia

Nick Berg, from our area, is someone who only wanted to help in Iraq (Philly.com). He disappeared. No one noticed except for family and friends until the video was released of his murder (Salon). By watching the video, you do exactly what the terrorists want you to do. I ask you to pay respects to the Berg family.

If you need something more fuel your anger at these bastards, then you’re someone with very short memory and are a heartless idiot. There is nothing educational here. There is nothing that needs a new light shown on it. This video was produced by terrorists for our consumption. Bottom line. Then again, if you are confused as to who the real enemy is (al-Qaeda) – then watch it. I don’t see how you can be by this point. I just don’t.

What you can do is get informed.

Things you should know:

  • Lack of due process contributed to his murder (PennLive).

  • “the man who killed Nick Berg, the man who has killed hundreds of Iraqis, could have been taken out long ago by President Bush – but he didn’t do it because it would have hurt his case for war.” (Oliver Willis).

  • “This kind of barbaric behavior will have the same effect it usually has: it will make civilized people around the world more determined than ever to exterminate al-Qaeda and its likeminded brethren. Barbaric behavior doesn’t win wars, it just makes your enemies more dedicated to their cause. This is why it’s so important to eliminate the kind of barbarism exhibited by our own side at Abu Ghraib: because it just makes our enemies stronger. “ (Washington Monthly).

  • Richelle’s Grandfather Is In Intensive Care

    Richelle’s grandpop started coughing up blood late Thursday night. We got the call right before the Friends finale started.

    We rushed to the emergency room. First, let me share that he is stable…. we think. And it’s the “we think” that amongst all the other emotions I am feeling is making me furious.

    The ambulance had taken grandpop, not to the hospital of his choice, which I believe is far closer, and where his heart doctor practices, but to old Frankford Hospital. A place I believe is far more used to working with young victims of violence then elderly facing heart conditions. When we arrived, one half of Richelle’s family was in the public waiting area: her grandmom, her aunt, and her aunt’s son. Crying and upset. We asked them how long were they here and what his status was. Over a half hour and they think he?s dead. I asked them if they were knew for sure. They said no, but he must be, he looked terrible, there was blood everywhere, the ambulance drivers had to intubate him in the home before the ride, and no one had spoken to them since.

    No one had spoken to them? What?!?! I went to the admissions window and asked for an update for them.

    A nurse came out a few minutes later and asked us to go to a private waiting area, where the doctor will speak with us. Richelle and me were having flashbacks to when Hunter passed away. God no. Please no.

    Richelle?s mom, her father, Richelle?s sister arrived about ten minutes after.

    When a doctor did come in, she told us the timeline of events that we knew already occurred, he had started to cough up blood. His heart rhythm became incompatible with life and his pacemaker had shocked him to help, which it did. And now they are fighting to stabilize his vitals. He is very critical. And they do not know the cause.

    Then another doctor came in to ask consent to give medication. He asked if Richelle’s aunt was a nurse, and she answered she was the nursing assistant. The doctor took her outside the room to give her additional info. When she came back, and was not directly forthcoming tensions rose.

    An hour or so later we got the news he had stabilized enough to go to ICU. They got him a CAT scan. But we were to later learn that the results of the CAT scan would not be available till Monday. The results went direct to another office and that other office had to send the results back.

    When we went to the ICU waiting area, no one would give us any information. It took two hours later for us to get any kind of status update, and at that time they allowed us to see him. The update sounded exactly like what we heard before, except now they had him stable and they could rattle off a list of medicines they were giving him for his blood pressure, anxiety, and drugs to keep him immobilized. All later updates would come only after prodding by one of us. We were patient. We?d only ask every hour or so. One update told us to expect the worst – that he may have brain damage. But we were told his oxygen levels were good throughout all of this.

    My impression was that they did not want to mistakenly say the wrong thing and get in trouble. They treated us like the enemy. One nurse even rolled her eyes when asked for additional details.

    Richelle’s brother and fiance arrived towards midnight. They drove home from the shore. His fiance is a nurse with plenty of experience and a position in a different hospital. When they arrived, she started to ask some probing questions and they rebuffed her.

    Here is where things stand now? he?s stable. He is unconscious most of the time, and whenever he does come slightly out of it he he tries to get the intubate tube out with his tongue. They quickly drug him to keep him from harming himself when he’s like that. We have no additional information from the staff at Frankford Hospital. He?s stable. They do not know the cause. He is breathing with the assistance of a breathing machine.

    I am never one to ask for prayers, but I am doing so today. Richelle?s family needs your prayers.


    Disney Blocks Anti-Bush Movie…Allegedly Because It Fears Retaliation from Bush Family (Discourse.net (the anti-Instawhatever)).

    Sinclair censored Koppel and Nightline (WorkingForChange).

    CBS delayed report on Iraqi prison abuse after military chief’s plea (Guardian).

    The American Civil Liberties Union disclosed that it filed a lawsuit three weeks ago challenging the FBI’s methods of obtaining many business records, but the group was barred from revealing even the existence of the case until now. (Washington Post).

    Joseph Wilson, author of “The Politics of Truth,” talks about his prime suspect in the White House smear campaign against him and his wife. (Salon).

    If you havn’t read F*cked by the F*CC (The Nation), by Jeff Jarvis, what’s your problem?

    Growing intolerance and fear. Censorship by self, by intimidation, and by system. All of this is un-American.

    Kerry, His Message, And The On-Going Nichification Of Us All

    I hate to say this, but the main fear I had about Kerry, early during the nomination process, has come back to haunt me.

    Kerry is being defined by his opponent.

    I got into a political discussion with some friends last night and boy is he in trouble. People view him as “weak” and a “liar”. They have no confidence in him. And these are people hate George Bush. Being the anti-George Bush candidate (Economist) is not enough. That’s why I thought Dean couldn’t win. And although, I was able to defend Kerry easily by contrasting and comparing him against Bush – the marketing campaign of Rove and Company has more exposure then I do!

    I was afraid Kerry was going to turn out like Gore, and it’s happening right on schedule. He needs one “I invented the Internet” (something Gore never said damn it!) moment and it’s over. Kerry’s advisors need to do a better job if they truly think folks outside of Washington know what he stands for, or even who he is (NYTimes). They don’t in Philadelphia. I can tell you that much.

    Mike Sanders, who was very generous in his compliments to me had this to say: “John Kerry does not seem capable of being the leader we need to unite the country. As Karl points out, one of the major tasks confronting us is reducing the real damage caused by terrorism. This is not an imaginary fear, but a real threat that needs to be addressed. Right now it seems that Bush has the only potentially workable plan on the table and I think that the swing-voting Americans sense this and will give Bush a second term.”

    I agree with him. That “Kerry does not seem capable of…”. Keyword is “seem”. The Kerry team has done a terrible job of making clear its vision, while it has spent too much time chasing its tail after Bush henchman attacks. Did you know that 2 days ago Kerry released his plan on Iraq? No? Neither did I. Havn’t heard it in the press. Might have missed it in my e-mail. Too busy sending the spam the campaign is sending me to my junk bin. Thanks to Jeff Jarvis for the link.

    It needs to be far more clear in getting its message across. Take Kerry saying this month that the deficit “can become a fiscal cancer that will erode any recovery and threaten the prospect of a lasting prosperity.” (Bloomberg). Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Instead say, “the deficit will destroy the economic future for our children. You are for protecting children aren’t you President Bush? I say the American people can do better. We can defend America now and lay the ground work for future generations.”. Sounds hysterical. It’s not. Bush would use a similar tactic. Actually, he has used far worst! Notice his team now equating dissent over the Iraq war (Talking Points Memo) with racism! No really! It’s true!

    The way to win is by engaging the 50% or more of of people out there that don’t vote. The only way to do that is by engaging the center (American Prospect). And running on hope and not fear (Salon).

    Read The Political Split Is Pervasive (Washingtong Post). It explains why I’m probably pissing into the wind:

    …As it becomes more difficult to reach across the party line, campaigns are devoting more energy to firing up their hard-core supporters. For voters in the middle, this election may aggravate their feeling that politics no longer speaks to them, that it has become a dialogue of the deaf, a rant of uncompromising extremes.

    Rifts haven’t always coincided with party divisions. The United States was led for many years by the strange bedfellows of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal coalition. Millions of rural, religious, southern voters joined millions of urban, minority and secular voters in backing the Democrats. After Roosevelt’s death and World War II, the coalition began fragmenting — over civil rights and anti-communism, among other issues — but the breakup took decades.

    Experts cite a variety of factors to explain why Red-Blue has risen in its place. For example:

    ? Reagan happened. Republican presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower, Richard M. Nixon and Gerald R. Ford governed essentially as pragmatic centrists, but Reagan framed his presidency in ideological terms. He coaxed religious conservatives and Cold Warriors away from the Democratic Party while making it uncomfortable for liberals to remain in the GOP. “The signals coming out from Washington helped voters sort themselves out into parties that reflected their world view,” explained Thomas E. Mann of the Brookings Institution.

    ? Peace happened. From the outbreak of World War II through the end of the Cold War — a span of nearly 50 years — the United States’ foreign policy and military policy, two of the biggest responsibilities of the government, reflected the consensus of both parties. “In the 1950s, the country thought of itself as homogenous,” said White, recalling sociologist Daniel Bell’s influential 1960 book, “The End of Ideology.” “The dominant discussion was about the need for unity in the face of a potent enemy.” The collapse of the Soviet Union stripped much of the purpose out of centrism.

    ? Clinton happened. Though he campaigned as a moderate Democrat, and delivered on such longtime Republican goals as a balanced budget and welfare reform, Clinton’s administration ultimately proved highly divisive. The first baby boomer presidency opened a new front in the culture wars that erupted in the late 1960s — over sex, responsibility, the role of women, the nature of authority.

    ? Technology happened. The rise of direct mail, cable television and the Internet has enabled ideological soul mates to find one another efficiently, to organize, to concentrate their resources and to evangelize. Big Media — especially network television and daily newspapers — are rapidly losing their power to shape public consensus and marginalize ideological extremes.

    The Pew Research Center for the People and the Press recently found that the number of Americans getting campaign news from network television or daily newspapers has fallen by a quarter since 2000, and by a third for magazines such as Time and Newsweek. Meanwhile, the audience is growing for niche outlets such as talk radio, cable television and Internet sites.

    “People naturally reduce cognitive dissonance by seeking out information that reinforces their existing views,” Mann said. “So there’s no single cause” of the Red-Blue divide, “but a number of factors feeding into this.”

    There are those that knowingly and unknowingly encourage us to keep apart and divided. They are out here in the weblogging world in force. Give credit to the rare weblogger like Mike Sanders who would use the word “seem”. Because far too many others would just leave that out in their self serving quest for audience. In the media. In politics. In advertising. They want the most direct group to sell their message to.

    Update: Removed the last two sentences. They were so loud that they almost drowned out what I’m trying to say.

    “Voter’s Guide for Serious Catholics”

    That’s the title of a pamphlet given out at church last week. It informed me of my moral role as a Catholic voter: “Service of the common good requires citizens to fulfill their roles in the life of the political community”. In short – vote. And do not vote “for a political program or individual law that contradicts the fundamental contents of faith and morals “. So far so good.

    The pamphlet listed five “non-negotiable” issues: 1. Abortion, 2. Euthanasia, 3. Fetal Stem Cell Research, 4. Human Cloning, 5. Homosexual “Marriage”.

    No peacemaking, no feeding the hungry, no caring to the sick, no forgiveness and admonishment of the sinner, no instruction of the ignorant. Nothing about the death penalty. Nothing about the economy. Nothing about the environment. In short, the issues portrayed as “non-negotiable” involved me telling someone else how to live and what to do for themselves and others. It had NOTHING to do with me of us doing something for others directly.

    It’s always them that needs to change isn’t it?

    It disgusted me. I look at my Catholicism as a calling for me to do things, not as a guide to for me to shout down at others.

    In the Presidential election, IMHO, both candidates are weak Christians.

    But then again – as are we all. Isn’t that what Christianity is about? For us to take up our own crosses and help others carry theirs?

    The pamphlet is online at Catholic.com. So is a brilliant article at Gadflyer that rips this hypocrisy to shreds.