Saturday, August 15, 2009
BLOCK: And Professor Harris-Lacewell, when you hear, I want my America back, do you also hear a racial context to that?
Prof. HARRIS-LACEWELL: I certainly know that progressives and liberals often use very similar language during Bush's administration. As we saw the erosion of civil liberties, we often use the language of wanting our America back. I think it has something to do with how Americans project their own world views onto the broader American context.
I do worry about whether or not, at least for some of those opponents of health care reform, that part of what they're saying is a reflection of an anxiety about I want an America back where African-Americans, where Latinos, where women were truly second-class citizens rather than first class, equal member with a full right to govern.
I'm not saying that every opponent believes that. I worry about the ways in which there may be a resonance of that anxiety that emerges.
BLOCK: Tony Blankley, would you think…
Mr. BLANKLEY: Yeah. I mean that may well have been a true statement if you'd ask somebody in 1964, '65, or '67.
But in 2009, I don't know anybody who thinks that way. I mean this is out of the history books. This isn't out of life. A lot of my friends are very conservative. I have liberal friends too, a couple of communist friends as well. But nobody thinks that way. I mean this is trying to bring up an old problem that has largely disappeared.
I was listening to the above interview on my way home - out in the county, Philpot Kentucky. Philpot is really just a 4-corners community with a tiny post office and its own zip code. When we say we live out in the "county" we are really saying we live out in the country.
We've been out here in the county for more than 10 years. We moved down here from Michigan in 1995. My point is that we are now 'from around here'. From the heartland of America.
I can tell you Mr. Blankley that I do know people who "think that way". I know the devoted American's who daily question whether President Obama was really born in the United States of America. I know proud and arrogant Americans who "want their America" back - the way it was "in 1964, '65, or '67". I know patriotic Americans who state that they wish the President of the United States of America would fail. I know Americans who have mobbed together hoping to defeat health care reform so that they can celebrate a "win" over that <explicative deleted> and his bleeding heart liberal commie pinko socialist death-panel friends.
Posted by William Meloney at 9:53 AM
Just before midnight, a "note" was posted on Sarah Palin's Facebook page titled, "Concerning the 'Death Panels.'" Predictably, the media latched onto it and reported her thoughts. However, there's a problem: there's no way in hell Sarah Palin wrote it.
How do I know this, you ask? Well, the answer to that question is perhaps best explained by a comment someone named Marvin Settle posted under Palin's note. He wrote:
Wow, and the public thought she wasn't educated enough to be President? That is some of the most well researched and thought out material I have ever read. Thanks Sarah.
Exactly! Thank you Marvin Settle. Thank you very much.
First: Go read the "note" was posted on Sarah Palin's Facebook page.
Second: Go to front page of Sarah Palin's Facebook and read some of the comments.
Third: Be afraid! Be very afraid! "Wow, and the public thought she wasn't educated enough to be President?" Sarah Palin, properly 'handled', will be the next mouth-piece of the Republican Party. AND because fear and ignorance trumps truth ... Sarah Palin is very likely to be the next
George Bush President of the United States.
BE AFRAID! BE VERY AFRAID!
Posted by William Meloney at 7:27 AM
The Connoisseur (1962)I find the most interesting things at ...
If Charlie Parker Was a Gunslinger,There'd Be a Whole Lot of Dead Copycats
Posted by William Meloney at 5:28 AM
Thursday, August 13, 2009
"If once a man indulges himself in murder, very soon he comes to think
little of robbing; and from robbing he next comes to drinking and
Sabbath-breaking, and from that to incivility and procrastination."
-- Thomas De Quincey (1785 - 1859)
Posted by William Meloney at 7:18 PM
The essence of Ceramatec's breakthrough is that high energy density (a lot of juice) can be achieved safely at normal temperatures and with solid components, not hot liquid.
Ceramatec says its new generation of battery would deliver a continuous flow of 5 kilowatts of electricity over four hours, with 3,650 daily discharge/recharge cycles over 10 years. With the batteries expected to sell in the neighborhood of $2,000, that translates to less than 3 cents per kilowatt hour over the battery's life. Conventional power from the grid typically costs in the neighborhood of 8 cents per kilowatt hour.
Re-read that last paragraph and let the information really sink in. Five kilowatts over four hours -- how much is that? Imagine your trash compactor, food processor, vacuum cleaner, stereo, sewing machine, one surface unit of an electric range and thirty-three 60-watt light bulbs all running nonstop for four hours each day before the house battery runs out. That's a pretty exciting place to live.
Posted by William Meloney at 2:44 PM
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Nobody may give a damn about Ariel Sigler, but I do
For almost a week, I have been haunted by Cuban political prisoner Ariel Sigler Amaya's description of what the Castro dictatorship is doing to him as he sits in a Havana hospital suffering from a litany of health problems.
"This is obvious," said Sigler, "they are killing me little by little."
Posted by William Meloney at 11:08 AM
For too long we have ascribed to the practice of being wealthy. We practiced diligently. We found new ways to increase our wealth. We used our wealth to measure our self worth. You might say we became adept at being wealthy.Then in our wealth we became complacent. When we wanted or ...*gasp*... really needed something we simply snapped our plastic fingers and let our wealth 'take care of it'. The relative cost of the desired bauble or perceived "need" was hidden from us. Hidden in the automatic withdraws, electronic debits or far worse the "co-pay" which isolated us from any real cost of health care. It stopped being about real value and became instant gratification. It is time that we began practicing being Independently Poor.
Posted by William Meloney at 7:09 AM
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Updated Guidance for Schools for the Fall Flu Season
Updated federal guidelines offer state and local public health and school officials a range of options for responding to 2009 H1N1 influenza in schools, depending on how severe the flu may be in their communities. The guidance says officials should balance the risk of flu in their communities with the disruption that school dismissals will cause in education and the wider community. Find the guidance and associated toolkit on the school planning page or watch the video archive of the school guidance news conference.
Posted by William Meloney at 9:20 PM
. . .
And that imho is the answer -- we, the users, need to own a technology company -- and have it work to serve our interests. It has to help us achieve our goals to do what we are excited about.
. . .
So that's what I'd like you all to think about -- founding a People's Software Company whose first act is to IPO and pool the financial resources of users who believe there is a gap in what Silicon Valley is providing using their old models for corporate structure. We're living in the proof that the gap exists, with all the failures of the centralized system in just the last week. See if your imagination takes you to the same place it takes me.
In order to meet the needs of users -- we, the users, need to own a technology company... Call it communal computing, call it cyber-socialism, call it anything you want... we need systems that serve the community and are not just Merger & Acquisition fodder.
Posted by William Meloney at 7:56 PM
Anyone who knows me or my work will affirm that I am an Early Adopter Of All Things Google (EAOATG). This is being composed in gMail, it will be posted to Blogger, and will be referenced in Google Reader. Copies will most likely be stored as Google Documents.So my concern is that Google is waiting too long to bring the Wave into fruition. After such a glorious introduction this interminable wait is only undermining the Wave's seeming potential. To that end the question arises, "Whats wrong with the Wave?" Why haven't we heard more substantive reports about its functionality. Why haven't we heard Wavers swooning its praises?Why can't EAOATG's get access to even the sandbox version?Perhaps all we can do is wave ... as the ripple diminishes into the Google sunset.
Posted by William Meloney at 1:25 PM
Image via CrunchBaseMy gut reaction is ... revulsion.
Facebook is a necessary evil. Everyone (well, almost everyone) has an account. It is the only way to keep in touch with some folks - people who don't blog, don't use e-mail - the sheep who feel comfortable being fleeced in a flock.
Twitter is just frivolous. (I ke
Image via CrunchBaseep an account as an emergency communication channel.)
Losing the integrity and functionality of Friendfeed is devastating. Just hours before the announcement I had finally massaged my user lists to a point where I was beginning to see FF working correctly. In my case, being unknown, it was finding the balance between too many and too few folks to follow. That coupled with what "News" feeds to include. I had just arrived at a working balance.
My social media networking community has just become more focused. Here is how it is going to work, give or take a little massaging (messaging)...
Image via CrunchBase
I use Google Reader to stay current with the 'feeds' - those folks and entities that consistently offered real world views. My responses, observations, blatherings, et al will eventually find themselves published in this Blog. Pa^2 Patois. Then through the magic (which I don't do) of the intertubes my humble offerings will be distributed to those other venues - Pa^2 Patois (Posterous), Papa@FriendFeed, Facebook, and finally Twitter.
Image via CrunchBase
Losing FriendFeed is the equivalent of having an intertubal ligation. While such a declaration is both premature and unduly terse I am and will continue to be an advocate for ...
Open Society and Culture ...a CGI ant carrying a digital grain of rice...
Posted by William Meloney at 7:24 AM
Monday, August 10, 2009
Sunday, August 09, 2009
from Global Voices Online by Hamid Tehrani
Yesterday, Iranian authorities held the second round the of mass trial of protestors and reformist politicians. Defendants in this round included a 24 year-old French woman, Clotilde Reiss, who was accused of spying. Almost all the defendants were accused of inciting riots and undermining national security. The Iranian judiciary went on to blame a litany of Western intelligence agencies, media organizations, and software companies, including Israel's Mossad spy agency, Facebook, Twitter, Voice of America, BBC Persia, and even Google's new Persian-to-English translation software, for their roles in the supposed vast conspiracy. See photos from the trial here.
I wonder if the "authorities" cited above could ever realize just how silly they appear?
Posted by William Meloney at 3:36 PM