aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Some hail Augustus Bush
Here I thought I was being all pithy when I compared Giuliani to Nero. Hell, I can’t hold a stick to Family Security Matters, which boasts such right wing luminaries as Barbara Comstock, Monica Crowley, Frank Gaffney, Laura Ingraham and James Woolsey among others on its board of directors.
They, quite literally, want George Bush to emulate Augustus Caesar and become ruler of the world for life:
Caesar pacified Gaul by mass slaughter; he then used his successful army to crush all political opposition at home and establish himself as permanent ruler of ancient Rome. This brilliant action not only ended the personal threat to Caesar, but ended the civil chaos that was threatening anarchy in ancient Rome - thus marking the start of the ancient Roman Empire that gave peace and prosperity to the known world.
If President Bush copied Julius Caesar by ordering his army to empty Iraq of Arabs and repopulate the country with Americans, he would achieve immediate results: popularity with his military; enrichment of America by converting an Arabian Iraq into an American Iraq (therefore turning it from a liability to an asset); and boost American prestiege while terrifying American enemies.
He could then follow Caesar’s example and use his newfound popularity with the military to wield military power to become the first permanent president of America, and end the civil chaos caused by the continually squabbling Congress and the out-of-control Supreme Court.
President Bush can fail in his duty to himself, his country, and his God, by becoming “ex-president” Bush or he can become “President-for-Life” Bush: the conqueror of Iraq, who brings sense to the Congress and sanity to the Supreme Court. Then who would be able to stop Bush from emulating Augustus Caesar and becoming ruler of the world? For only an America united under one ruler has the power to save humanity from the threat of a new Dark Age wrought by terrorists armed with nuclear weapons.
Via Kos, “And now that people know they exist, they’ve been desperately scrubbing their pages clean. Too bad Google cache exists.”
Sam Nunn won’t run & I’m not buying that Cory story
I should have posted this the moment I saw it. My 2Ã‚Â¢ is he won’t run and it ain’t gonna happen. But he made some sense and would be a whole heckuva lot better than still-testing-the-waters [wink, wink. nudge, nudge.] Fred Thompson.
And so long as I’m casting aspersions at wild rumors, I’m not buying this one either:
Tough-minded pundit Arianna Huffington may have found a politician she approves of. Word is that the Huffington Post founder has been quietly dating Newark Mayor Cory Booker. Huffington didn’t respond to several e-mails. Hizzoner’s spokeswoman told us, “We don’t comment on his personal life.” Huffington was an early supporter of Booker in the Rhodes scholar’s battle to unseat longtime Newark boss Sharpe James. Booker has contributed several posts to her blog.
RIAA “deterence” continues
The RIAA has targeted 503 additional college students at 58 colleges and universities in the seventh wave of its latest ”deterrence program” aimed at eliminating piracy on college campuses. That’s 2,926 students targeted to date.
The pre-litigation "settlement" letters, as it refers to them as, once again target those with the fewest resources and ability to fight the charges in an actual courtroom before a judge and jury. As usual, the RIAA offers a convenient method to bypass the legal system altogether and "...resolve copyright infringement claims against them at a discounted rate before a formal lawsuit is filed." What nice guys right?
Maybe somebody should remind them that you can’t definitively identify somebody by an IP address, that "Many computers can be connected to the Internet with identical IP addresses as long as they remain behind control points such as routers, firewalls, proxy servers, or similar technologies."
In the seventh wave of this new initiative, the RIAA this week sent letters to 58 schools including: [full list]
How long to finish school?
Around here we have a lot of “fifth year seniors.” I have been inclined to think that a side effect of the HOPE scholarship; with free tuition, why hurry? But maybe four years to get through college is a one-size-fits-all approach not well-suited to the wide variety of learning styles individuals might reasonably exhibit. Who picked four years anyway?
The question arises out of the experience of New York City high-schoolers. There they find that more students finish school, given the time:
Faced with 70,000 students or more who are years behind in obtaining the credits needed to graduate from high school, New York City is at the forefront of a movement to recognize that for a significant number, high school might stretch into five, six, even seven years.
In an effort that has expanded across Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s second term, the city has spent nearly $37 million to identify and cater to students who are at the biggest risk of dropping out and has already contracted for $31 million more in programs. [...]
For students past the traditional graduation age, the city has established special centers to provide counseling, night classes and an environment designed to avoid the stigma of being college age but in class with 14-year-olds. Some students also earn credits through summer school and community college classes.
When the programs began in 2004, they were serving roughly 2,000 students. That number has since ballooned to more than 7,000. Many students will graduate this week, after spending the summer earning final credits.
The article says that NYC “officials acknowledge that students should complete high school in four years.” I answer that there should be no poverty or discrimination.
Journalism pot calls blogger kettle black
Josh Marshall was named in LATimes opinion column yesterday penned by journalism professor Michael Skube. The column is subtitled, “The hard-line opinions on weblogs are no substitute for the patient fact-finding of reporters.”
Not long after I wrote I got a reply: “I didn’t put your name into the piece and haven’t spent any time on your site. So to that extent I’m happy to give you benefit of the doubt ...”
This seemed more than a little odd since, as I said, he certainly does use me as an example—along with Sullivan, Matt Yglesias and Kos. So I followed up noting my surprise that he didn’t seem to remember what he’d written in his own opinion column on the very day it appeared and that in any case it cut against his credibility somewhat that he wrote about sites he admits he’d never read.
To which I got this response: “I said I did not refer to you in the original. Your name was inserted late by an editor who perhaps thought I needed to cite more examples ... “
And this is from someone who teaches journalism?
Perhaps I’m naive. But it surprises me a great deal that a professor of journalism freely admits that he allows to appear under his own name claims about a publication he concedes he’s never read.
Actually, if you look at what he says, it seems Skube’s editor at the Times oped page didn’t think he had enough specific examples in his article decrying our culture of free-wheeling assertion bereft of factual backing. Or perhaps any examples. So the editor came up with a few blogs to mention and Skube signed off. And Skube was happy to sign off on the addition even though he didn’t know anything about them.
I grant you that the blogosphere needs better bloggers. But, as usual, the need for better critics seems even more acute.
MTV, Rhapsody take on iTunes
Wow, MTV and Real Networks’ Rhapsody service are teaming up to take on iTunes, and the new deal looks like it will put an end to MTV’s short-lived partnership with Microsoft. Reports the Wall Street Journal, “Microsoft has been heavily focused on its own Zune service in recent months, to the apparent detriment of Urge, which had few subscribers. MTV itself no longer invested significant resources in Urge after Zune’s debut, according to a person familiar with Urge.” Also, Verizon Wireless is on board for the new Rhapsody partnership, which is an interesting development in light of Cingular’s partnership with Apple on the iPhone. MTV plans to promote the new partnership extensively, especially in combination with its annual VMAs, which air on September 9th. (WSJ sub. req.)