Joho the Blog » 2004 » July

July 31, 2004

Remember Sudan

In fact, don’t just remember it. We need to lead our leaders. Every day means more death and horror.

Not sure where you stand? Here’s yesterday’s Washington Post’s editorial. EthanZ has more, and recommends Doctors without Borders.

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Tiny game

.krieger is a truly mediocre first-person shooter with a single level of boring game play., although with some moderately impressive graphics. So why mention it? Because it’s all done in a 96K file, which is equivalent to packing for the summer and fitting it all into your wallet.

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Subservient President

Remember Subservient Chicken? Here comes Subservient President. (Note: You must be able to prove that you’re a manager at Halliburton to play.)

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Video blog

I’ve blogged a video reply to Charles Cooper’s article at CNET.

Real Player (7mb…Possibly not working. Sorry.)
Quicktime (11mb)
Windows MediaPlayer (3.5mb)

Why videoblog it? It’s an experiment. (PS: Don’t forget Dan Bricklin’s reply to Cooper.)


Chris Lydon captures a lot of truth about the Convention, including by interviewing Jay Rosen.

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Hummer salute

I am, of course, the last person to see the FU Hummer salute site.

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July 30, 2004

From an Arab-American

From a reader who requests anonymity, and who gave me permission to post this version with identifying info removed:

As for your Tuesday night scorecard: My scorecard matches yours.

When Barack Obama started speaking, I got goosebumps. But further into his speech — rich with concrete details and a human no-catch-phrase voice — when he had the compassion and, more important, courage to cite an Arab American family as part of HIS e pluribus unum, he won my heart forever.

David, life has been at best disheartening or worse, terrifying for Arab Americans since 9-11…

More at Loose Democracy

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Bricklin on event blogging

Dan Bricklin has a post on what we’re starting to learn about event blogging. Dan’s doing a service by turning this into a topic…

In passing, Dan responds to Charles Coopers‘ post at CNET. Dan says that we’re only at the beginning of learning about event blogging and about the relationship of blogging and journalism. To this I would only add: Cooper is judging blogging as if it were wannabe journalism. What I was doing at the Convention wasn’t journalism. I’m not sure what to call what I was doing, except maybe “blogging.” Was it worthwhile even thought it wasn’t journalism? I dunno. Sort of for you to judge. As always.

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President Kerry

The problem with visionary speeches in politics is the same as with sales speeches that talk about benefits: If the vision is big enough, it’s always the same speech. In marketing, you end up saying “SAves time, drives down costs, boosts profits,” which works out to the single, unified benefit: “Make more money.” In American politics the speech becomes about family, flag and freedom. If the vision is sufficiently grand, the same speech can be given by George Bush, John Kerry, Ralph Nader and your crazy Uncle Bob.

I liked Kerry’s speech because it wasn’t visionary.

By giving us enough details about what he will do, he gave us a real sense of our country’s path and his reason for running. Did you come out of the speech thinking that he’s a flip-floppy guy driven only by ambition? There goes $80M of Republican advertising, down the ol’ drain.

One of the stupid TV commentators – I swear that in the first three minutes after the speech one of them was commenting on Kerry’s rate of sweat – said that he failed to explain his Iraq policy. Bull! He said exactly what he would do, although he steered clear of the important details of how exactly he will implement his plan. But we have 100 days and three debates for that. I thought Kerry – and his Media Engineers (credit where credit due) – hit exactly the right spot in the Empty Vision vs. Policy Wonk spectrum.

I now believe Kerry will win the debates in the way that matters: Convincing the undecided that he deserves their trust and their vote. The debates are beginning to smell pretty darn delicious at this point. Mmmmm. I mean, is there anything that Democrats look forward to more than seeing W wiped in his own flop sweat?


By the way, there was a delightfully active – and delightful – conversation in the comments during my disjointed realtime blogging of the speech.

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July 29, 2004

John Kerry (Live blogging)

Hated the hokey salute..

He’s being likable and relaxed. Great smile

“Trees are the cathedrals of nature”? Separation of trees and state!

The work of our generation isn’t done yet. I like it! This speech hears so much better than it reads!

A plea for complexity. My favorite topic. I’d love to see W’s rejection of nuance bite him in the ass.

“The future doesn’t belong to fear. It belongs to freedom.” Perfect.

“The flag belongs to all the American people.” Continues the Convention theme of the unity of all Americans, odd in the bitterest, most divided election in my life. And it’s the right theme.

Family values theme isn’t working for me. Not that that matters. Falling into predictable patterns of American political rhetoric. What next? “Good jobs at good wages”?

The fact that signs had been distributed saying “Help is on the way” sort of breaks the illusion, doesn’t it?

Still, Kerry sounds damn good to me. Sounds not only presidential, but like a guy who should be president. I haven’t even noticed his hair in the past ten minutes.

We’ll get to pick our own doctor? Ooh ooh! Can I have Dr. Doolittle?

Great Lincoln quote. Just contributed $150.

Go Kerry. This afternoon I thought we were going to lose. Now I think we can win.

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Blogging reality

Because the Kerry speech is so important, I’ve decided to see it the way it’s meant to be seen: On TV. Yes, I’ve come home. And, oh are my feet and back glad.

Sure, I felt guilty skulking out of the Fleet. But not enough to stay. At the Convention I can’t hear what the speakers are saying, and I’ve absorbed so much atmosphere that I’m pooping victory balloons. So, what do I get out of being there for another night?

I’m sure you’ll tell me.


I’ve seen the official excerpts of Kerry’s speech, released by the Democrats. How were these excerpts? Hmm, what’s another word for “boring”? Oh, yeah, I remember: “Bush wins.”

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