Joho the Blog » 2004 » September

September 30, 2004

Chilling

Want to see the chilling effect in action? Read AKMA:

…I can see it now: “CD sales plummet, sheet music profits disappear, as musicians buy copies of a critic’s scholarly essay on theological education and pop culture.”

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Rebecca Romijn (sans Stamos) ad for MoveOn.org

I enjoyed the new MoveOn.org ad. Will it convert any Republicans? I doubt it. But I can still have my little moment, can’t I? Please?

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Partisan merriment

The actually-funny Hank Blakely has written a version of the Battle Hymn of the Republic that will amuse Kerryists and annoy Busholians. Here’s the chorus:

Glory, glory hallelujah.
Glory, glory, how they fooled ya.
From Florida to bloody Fallujah,
Their lies go marching on.

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Crawford on the FCC…

Susan Crawford of Cardoza Law, who organized the Bellhead/Nethead conference I blogged on Tuesday, writes her own “take-away” from the event:

What I wanted to do with Bellhead/Nethead was focus attention on a hard question: who should be in charge of the internet? I emerged with the sense that it is time to stop being incrementalist about this question. It’s apparent that the FCC’s current statute doesn’t fit internet services well. On the other hand, it’s not clear to me that we should rewrite the act to fit the internet better. And tweaking around the edges of the act just isn’t working (and won’t work).

We need to, as a country, take a firm stand and reaffirm the message of 47 USC 230: no special-purpose meddling…

(Susan says nice things about my blogging. Ignore it. It was lousy, minimally reflective live-blogging. Worse, complimenting me means I can’t tell you about the esteem in which I hold her without it sounding like tit for tat. I’ll save that pleasure for another day.)

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Fear and voting in Florida

Want to read something that’s simultaneously entertaining and scary? Go visit Andrew Gumbel’s article in the UK Independent about the upcoming nightmare about voting procedures in Florida. Oy veh, with a side order of chads.

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Eroding decency

I grew up in the sort of household that defended unions (my father was a labor lawyer), sang protest songs (my mother taught folk guitar well before it was trendy), felt personally disgraced by the institutionalizing of racism (my brother registered Black voters in the south in the early ’60s) and watched the rise of Congressman Nixon with disbelief. Yet, my parents’ indignation was aimed at what they perceived as our country’s failure to live up to its own values.

I was brought up on those values. I still believe in them. To me, an America that doesn’t welcome the outcasts of the earth is unthinkable. It is not only at our moral center, the diversity and vitality and hope it provides is the core of our strength.

So now we’re going to deport people even if we’re sending them back to be tortured.

There’s a moral high horse to be ridden here. Something about Jefferson and the Statue of Liberty. That’s the logical conclusion from my first two paragraphs, I admit. But my shame over this cold-hearted decision by frightened sons of bitches doesn’t come from principle. It comes from imagining how to explain the ruling to one of its victims without the explanation amounting to a further betrayal. It comes from imagining the family scene afterwards.

I’m in favor of fear. I wake up every day and check the news to see what’s still standing. I fled Boston the weekend that Ashcroft said there was “credible evidence” of an attack. Believe me, my fear credentials are in order. But I don’t love fear so much that I’m willing to send people back to countries to be tortured.

The vote on this bill was along party lines. The Republicans have betrayed our country. For shame.

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September 29, 2004

Political Action Committee for Net Freedom

Matt Stoller and others have started IPaction, a political action committee to preserve our right to use and remix creative works. Take a look. Then perhaps join, as I just did.

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Mint culture

I’m in Chicago to be the lunchtime speaker at a meta-conference — it’s for meeting planners — and the Hyatt I’m in has a mint theme. Mint shampoo. Mint conditioner. Mint body scrub. Mint “ice body wash.” As a result, I’ve come out of the shower smelling like a molar.

It’s always enjoyable to attend a conference based around a particular hotel and realize that every attendee smells like English Rose or Sand Breeze. Somewhere a hotel marketing director got a good deal on pine-scented toiletries, so now the International Conference on Hydraulic Research smells like it slept in a Georgia forest.

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Best tech blogs

Mitch Wagner of TechWeb lists JOHO as one of the best tech blogs. Hahahaha. Mitch obviously has JOHO confused with, well, a blog that knows something about technology. Perhaps my current electrical problems (no pun intended) have convinced Mitch that I am an electrical engineer of genius-level deviousness who is committed to a rigorous program of self-abuse. Or perhaps Mitch is coming off a two-week Outward Bound course focusing on extreme sarcasm. In any event, thank you Mitch. I am touched and deeply deeply confused.

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Jay on the “Every 4 years…” chuckling sneer of journalism

Jay points out and then takes apart the mainstream press’ jocular writing off of the real changes that are happening via the happy phrase, “Every 4 years we’re told…” etc. Brilliant analysis. And, just to make sure you read it: Jay explains why Jon Stewart deserves to be on the list of truth tellers who matter.

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