"Undermining my electoral viability since 2001."

Blogger Ethics

The notion of a "blogger ethics panel" is a sort of big inside joke, and it's a nice snarky comeback when people in the traditional media wail over the tone or reliability of some content from the "fever swamps." After all, it's not as though members of the traditional press, especially the political press, have any sort of actual leg to stand on.

And so fair enough. Joe Klein doesn't get to lecture Atrios. Reasonable people agree.

However, I have an issue in that I don't really want Joe Klein as my yardstick. I like reading blogs, and I do it because there's real information there. As this is the first political cycle where the medium will be fully embraced (even Hillary comes out swinging with live webcasts), I expect we'll see a lot of trickery.

And that's a shame. It's a shame that people who carry the title blogfather will go and say things like:

As a historical note, I was semi-involved with the Draft Clark effort. Markos and I had formed a consultancy group in January of 2003. I liked Dean; he Clark. We agreed that whichever hired us first we'd both work together on that campaign.

After they were hired, Jerome did not disclaim, but promoted Dean heavily. Markos posted that he did "some technical work for Howard Dean," while helping to spread the word as well*. Somewhat misleading, I have to say.

Ah! But James Carville does the same thing! It's true, you're right, and as we said Joe Klein owes Atrios a million beers, but see that's why I don't listen to James Carville or Joe Klein, and haven't for several years now. They're both in their own way egotistical shills. Klein and Carville I mean. Armstrong and Moulitsas? Well, the jury is still out.

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What It Means To Escalate

Escalation is underway:

ome 25 U.S. troops in Iraq were killed in a single day this weekend, making it the third bloodiest since the war began....

Twelve of the 25 were killed in the crash of a Blackhawk helicopter northeast of Baghdad. Some were killed in Anbar province by Sunni insurgents. Five were killed in Karbala, in Shiite territory... In the current phase of operations, as more troops move into Baghdad, the increase in troop strength is less significant than the increase in the tempo of operations. As the U.S. military becomes more aggressive, it will incur more casualties.

I picked up this because of an AP piece in the local paper that I read while getting lunch. It quoted a couple anonymous Iraqi officials on how good American intel was, “The Americans don’t act on rumors but on accurate intelligence..." Yeah, right, buddy.

Anyway, those troops killed in Karbala were trying to have a meeting to make security plans. The meeting was blown up. Not a good sign.

The rest of the Stratfor analysis is semi-bunk. They posit a few hypotheticals, and opine that Sadr may be playing into Bush's hands, as the Decider is ostensibly trying to restart "the political process" by threatening militia organizations with a crackdown.

First of all, I find it hard to believe that this is Bush's actual goal. I think his goal is to run out the clock on his term in office without having to face the consequences of his actions. This escalation is best understood less as a "surge" and more as a "punt."

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Home tattoo!

Home tattoos.

This is one of the oldest things we as people do: we cut our hair and draw on our body (and pierce things) and (eventually) wear specific clothing as a means of signaling our cultural identity and expressing ourselves.

Now that I've got one...

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OG Dojo

Dojo Art

One of the young rockers from the dojo made that. Pretty sweet.

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Why People Hate Hollywood

People call for people to be fired because they use the word "faggot" in public.

There's a legitimate case to be made if, as is somewhat implied, there was a lot of on-set animosity -- that whole "hostile workplace environment" thing, which is legit -- but it seems to be the height of Political Correctness (and I use that term pejoratively here) to agitate for someone to lose their job as a result of a public statement they made, even if it was in the context of an awards show and thus semi-official.

Which is not to defend this guy's choice of language. Poor form, and all, but do we really want to start firing people on this kind of basis? Seems extreme to me.

Now, GLADD's position -- that it's not good language to promote and that he should apologize -- is far more moderate than those expressed by the entertainment press and a the VP of the Directors Guild, which seems to be that if you're homophobic, that's grounds for dismissal. This is why people fear and loathe the idea of Hollywood, even as they lap up the products.

Without defending homophobia, I think it's well within our individual rights as citizens to dislike whoever we dislike for whatever reasons, rational or otherwise. Acting on those feelings is different, but its a very dangerous thing to try and normatively shape ideas (e.g. creating thoughtcrime).

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Stop The Escalation

Real honest online activism; getting every member of congress on-record about escalation is an important step in stopping it.

It's also a great use of the interweb; a lot more real and effective than circulating petitions which (pssst, here's a secret) are mainly about listbuilding.

This, on the other hand, actually may matter, so check the link and see if your representatives have gone on the record (mine have) about whether or not they support the Bush/McCain doctrine escalate in Iraq.

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Burning Man

Missed the really cheap tickets, but you can still save $30 if you get 'em today.

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Thuggish Admin Behavior on MyDD

Jerome Armstrong, who I still have to post a recap about, continues to behave like a thug on MyDD. The latest example is a popular diary written by an Edwards supporter which takes Barak Obama to task for using similar language to Joe Lieberman. Jerome put it on the front page, and edited in an image from Google News with Edwards using similar language.

The image is two and a half years old, so that's pretty weak sauce, but the point here isn't the substance of the argument; it's what Armstrong did with his admin powers.

Here you have a community site that's had a pretty good vibe to it over the past year or two. It's a community that has good things bubble up from the diaries, and has a smaller (but in many ways sharper) community of commentators than the bigger blogs.

On this community site, you have one of the admins taking a community contribution, editing it without permission to completely flip it around on the author, and putting the result on public display.

That's thuggish, bullying behavior, and it's destructive and wrong. Even if Jerome's an Obama fanboy and was hurt by the community member's diary -- or maybe as he said was the case with Dean in this post and they've put him on the payroll so now he's carrying water -- this is a shitty way to behave on a community website. It's a petty violation of what anyone would consider normal standards.

This upsets me partly because people in the campaign world think Jerome actually has good advice (highly debatable), but more because he really brings the whole tenor of MyDD down. Matt and Chris and Jonathan and the other posters have a good thing going, and Armstrong's half-bright technology posts, childish abuses of admin power, and transparent frontpage shilling muddy the waters.

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So much to do. Work is kicking back into high gear just as I'm getting settled and starting to hit my homezone stride for 2007. On the plate:

  • FutureMajority.com
  • Redesigning OJ as a three-fold combo of aggregator, autobio and wiki
  • Getting Moammar registered, checked out by a mechanic, and getting into car audio
  • Really finishing up my living/working space at home; a few days of hippie carpentry
  • Flirting!
  • Experiments with political video
  • Continuing to run the drupal dojo, learning Jquery
  • The list goes on...

It's my natural state to be overfull with things to do. I just need to buckle down, focus and flow.

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I'm pretty sure this is actually from Eyes on the Prize. I've got a torrent file for that here (broken link before), and I strongly suggest you grab it and seed.

Not only do we all owe this man for a large portion of the level of racial integration we have today, anyone who wants to change the world also owes him big time for the path he laid down. You want to see how it's done? Check it out.

I mean, listen to the oration. Where the hell is that kind of voice in today's turbulent and troubled times?

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