Karl Rove: Apologize, resign, or both

Joho the Blog: Karl Rove: Apologize, resign, or both

As a liberal, I’m not insulted by Karl Rove’s remark that “liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers.” He’s just demagoging based on a seed of truth: I do want to understand our attackers (because it’s stupid in n dimensions not to understand the people you’re fighting) and I do want a nuanced, well-thought-out response that will actually make my children safer, rather than the kneejerk Bomb Someone strategery we got from Bush and Rove. So, fine, politicians exaggerate the positions they don’t like and even end up stating utter falsehoods like Rove’s.

No, what gets my goat is his unthought assumption that every issue and event is fodder for political advantage. So he goes into the very city where firefighters ran up the stairs instead of down, and he mouths off to score some points at a fund-raiser? Tell me now who doesn’t take 9/11 seriously, the liberals or callow, unfeeling, assroves like him? This split from reality – he was in New York City! – is where evil takes root.

Damn straight.

Think Progress wonders does Karl Rove speak for Bush?

You can sign a petition for his resignation here.

On a side note… how come my first name is spelled the same way by two people I care not to be associated with, one of whom is one of the most evil to walk this Earth? Pisses me off when I see Karl Rove referred to as “Karl”.

16 Days In April

Ummm… ok, this is not newsworthy… and I’m lowering myself by re-publishing – it’s not even blogworthy… but ya gotta admit… it sure is strange – and it’s FoxNews:

FOXNews.com – Foxlife – Fox411 – Katie Holmes’ Missing Days

…on April 4, she had not yet made the acquaintance of Tom Cruise.

…Holmes was busy during that first week in April. On April 7, she was photographed at the Fragrance Foundation’s FiFi event.

Four days later, Holmes was still in New York and was photographed at VH1’s “Save the Music” concert. She still had not met Cruise.

Sometime that week, her friends say, she flew to Los Angeles for a meeting with Cruise about a role in “Mission: Impossible 3.” The meeting took place after April 11.

The next time anyone heard from Holmes was on April 27, when she appeared in public as Cruise’s girlfriend and love of his life.

Where was she during those 16 days?

Somewhere during that time, she decided to fire both her manager and agent, each of whom she had been with for years and who were devoted to her.

The manager, John Carrabino, also handles Renée Zellweger and is beloved by his clients.

Holmes also acquired a new best friend, Jessica Feshbach, the daughter of Joe Feshbach, a controversial Palo Alto, Calif., bond trader.

The Feshbach family, according to published documents, has donated millions to the Church of Scientology. Jessica’s aunt even runs a Scientology center in Florida.

According to Richard Behar’s now famous 1991 story in Time magazine about Scientology, the Feshbachs were the subject of congressional hearings in 1989.

Behar wrote: “The heads of several companies claimed that Feshbach operatives have spread false information to government agencies and posed in various guises — such as a Securities and Exchange Commission official — in an effort to discredit the companies and drive the stocks down.

“Michael Russell, who ran a chain of business journals, testified that a Feshbach employee called his bankers and interfered with his loans. Sometimes the Feshbachs send private detectives to dig up dirt on firms, which is then shared with business reporters, brokers and fund managers.”

The risk-taking Feshbachs, known the world over for making their fortune “shorting” stocks, and the level-headed, conservative Holmeses would be a difficult mix at a dinner table.

Katie’s father, Martin Holmes, is the senior partner in a large and respected Toledo, Ohio, law firm. His son, Martin Jr., has recently joined the firm. He’s a Harvard graduate. Katie’s mom, Kathy, is frequently cited in Toledo for her charity work.

There is some fear among Holmes’ close circle that her instant romance with Cruise is not as organic as portrayed.

For one thing, Holmes was raised a strict Catholic. Also, gone from the picture are two close Holmes friends who used to be with her when she did publicity for a film.

One of these is Meghann Birie, a childhood friend who has suddenly disappeared from Holmes’ world. Another, a local TV producer here in New York, was too afraid to discuss the situation with me.

We know that Cruise auditioned several actresses for this role before settling on Holmes. This column reported a story about Jennifer Garner. There have been published stories about Kate Bosworth, Lindsay Lohan and Jessica Alba being approached.

A newer one involves Scarlett Johansson, who ran for her life when presented with a fait accompli dinner at the Scientology Celebrity Centre in Hollywood.

And history has been rewritten since the April 27 unveiling.

Curiously, since the Cruise-Holmes situation popped up, we have heard over and over again that Cruise was the young actress’ idol when she was growing up.

That’s certainly interesting because all of the publicity that used to run on Holmes — still found all over the Internet — lists another Tom as her favorite actor.

That would be Tom Hanks.

Attended a Live 8 Conference Call

I just took part in a terrific Live 8 related conference call organized by David Sifry of Technorati, John Hinderaker of Powerlineblog.com, Joe Trippi and Daren Berringer of JoeTrippi.com.

Special guests were Mike McCurry, a senior adviser to the Kerry campaign and former White House spokesman and Mark McKinnon, Vice Chairman of Public Strategies and advisor to President Bush. Read more about their efforts with the One campaign at Data.org.

Report at Philly Future and discussion there.

More on Porn and RSS Community Aggregators

Daniel Rubin at the Inquirer has put up a post about U.S. Code: Title 18: Section 2257.

A reply to me in the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy weblog warns:

Karl, my understanding is that even the lawyers are having trouble making sense of this. Most people seem to think that a webmaster could be held accountable for any image that appears on his web site, even if the image is hosted by another source. You might need to hire a lawyer.

But this will definitely impact more than just the porn industry because so many mainstream companies make money either directly or indirectly from porn. HBO and Showtime could be affected because of shows like “Real Sex” and “Family Business.” And what about that explicit oral sex scene between Vincent Gallo and Chloe Sevigny in “The Brown Bunny?” This is a movie that got a three-star review from Roger Ebert. It’s not a porn film, but it will have to comply. And so would all the web sites that reported on the controversial billboard that shows Sevigny performing oral sex on Gallo.

“the Citizen Journalism Pledge”

Dan Gillmor is asking contributors to Bayosphere to agree to a pledge before signing up. This is raising a few eyebrows around the web. This discussion is relevant to Philly Future so I opened up a a discussion there.

Everything Old Is New Again

From the man who brought you The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy: Douglas Adams: How to Stop Worrying and Learn to Love the Internet (1999!):

…1) everything that’s already in the world when you’re born is just normal;

2) anything that gets invented between then and before you turn thirty is incredibly exciting and creative and with any luck you can make a career out of it;

3) anything that gets invented after you’re thirty is against the natural order of things and the beginning of the end of civilisation as we know it until it’s been around for about ten years when it gradually turns out to be alright really.

Apply this list to movies, rock music, word processors and mobile phones to work out how old you are.

This subjective view plays odd tricks on us, of course. For instance, ‘interactivity’ is one of those neologisms that Mr Humphrys likes to dangle between a pair of verbal tweezers, but the reason we suddenly need such a word is that during this century we have for the first time been dominated by non-interactive forms of entertainment: cinema, radio, recorded music and television. Before they came along all entertainment was interactive: theatre, music, sport – the performers and audience were there together, and even a respectfully silent audience exerted a powerful shaping presence on the unfolding of whatever drama they were there for. We didn’t need a special word for interactivity in the same way that we don’t (yet) need a special word for people with only one head.

I expect that history will show ‘normal’ mainstream twentieth century media to be the aberration in all this. ‘Please, miss, you mean they could only just sit there and watch? They couldn’t do anything? Didn’t everybody feel terribly isolated or alienated or ignored?’

‘Yes, child, that’s why they all went mad. Before the Restoration.’

‘What was the Restoration again, please, miss?’

‘The end of the twentieth century, child. When we started to get interactivity back.’

Because the Internet is so new we still don’t really understand what it is. We mistake it for a type of publishing or broadcasting, because that’s what we’re used to. So people complain that there’s a lot of rubbish online, or that it’s dominated by Americans, or that you can’t necessarily trust what you read on the web. Imagine trying to apply any of those criticisms to what you hear on the telephone. Of course you can’t ‘trust’ what people tell you on the web anymore than you can ‘trust’ what people tell you on megaphones, postcards or in restaurants. Working out the social politics of who you can trust and why is, quite literally, what a very large part of our brain has evolved to do. For some batty reason we turn off this natural scepticism when we see things in any medium which require a lot of work or resources to work in, or in which we can’t easily answer back – like newspapers, television or granite. Hence ‘carved in stone.’ What should concern us is not that we can’t take what we read on the internet on trust – of course you can’t, it’s just people talking – but that we ever got into the dangerous habit of believing what we read in the newspapers or saw on the TV – a mistake that no one who has met an actual journalist would ever make. One of the most important things you learn from the internet is that there is no ‘them’ out there. It’s just an awful lot of ‘us’.

…We are natural villagers. For most of mankind’s history we have lived in very small communities in which we knew everybody and everybody knew us. But gradually there grew to be far too many of us, and our communities became too large and disparate for us to be able to feel a part of them, and our technologies were unequal to the task of drawing us together. But that is changing.

Interactivity. Many-to-many communications. Pervasive networking. These are cumbersome new terms for elements in our lives so fundamental that, before we lost them, we didn’t even know to have names for them.

What do EPIC 2014’s Creator’s Really Think?

Matt Thompson and Robin Sloan made a huge splash with their hypothetical look at the future of news reading and gathering with their Flash presentation – EPIC 2014. Read their short, but interesting interview at unmediated.

Add an Aggregator to Your Blog

reBlog makes it easy to republish your favorite RSS (down to individual posts) to your Movable Type, WordPress, or Bloxsom blogs.

I wish I had this back when Philly Future was driven by WordPress and a custom FeedOnFeeds implementation. It would have been a huge timesaver. Out of the box Drupal/Civicspace provides this functionality – one of the reasons we use it now.

Hmmmm… I almost left Bloglines for my personal FeedOnFeeds aggregator, but Bloglines’s superior workflow won out. I gotta try this with reBlog.

But remember to watch the porn.

Will New Porn Law Kill Vertical RSS Communities?

2257 regulations are set to go into effect June 23rd that require web sites to keep physical records on all models, specifically their ages, that they feature. While this is meant to combat child porn, the industry itself is very concerned – something as simple as record keeping might destroy many porn outlets on the web and raids might start to take place over record keeping.

If I understand correctly, sites that feature RSS aggregators like Philly Future could be at risk. Publishers of other sites post pictures in their feeds. We feature feeds direct from Flickr as well.

If Philly Future is required to keep track of the ages of every picture we display from feed publishers we are going to have to disallow pictures – we just don’t have the resources for keeping records on every picture shown. More at he American Constitution Society for Law and Policy weblog.


Congrats to those who made the AO/Technorati Open Media 100 and the runners up. Not a bad showing.

Update: David Rogers calls bullshit and Howard expresses his doubts.