politics, theology

Even Those on Death Row Should Have The Right To Choose

China’s Death-Row Organ Harvesting http://ow.ly/lx8s (All should have the right to choose.)

The worst crime one can commit is to deny the fundamental freedom and dignity of any individual to make decisions that affect that individual’s destiny. I reject any thinking that would abridge the right of any individual to say no.

from my About page.


Teddy Will Get A Replacement in Time For Health Care Vote

Looks Like Teddy Replacement Wlll Get Done ASAP (As he wished) http://ow.ly/lx24

Unless hell and high water are ranged against Deval Patrick and the Massachusetts Legislature, there will be a replacement for Teddy Kennedy on the Senate floor when the key votes on health care — Teddy’s signature issue — are taken.

Since the drill involves a person who would not likely be a future candidate for the Kennedy seat, which would be decided in a forthcoming special election, there is some chance that the appointment will have deep symbolic significance. No name comes immediately to mind, although it is possible that Vicky Kennedy, the Senator’s popular widow, might fill the bill.

I imagine the Legislature will act post haste to rescind a law that was passed to prevent Mitt Romney from appointing a Republican successor in the event that Kerry was elected President — which, as we now know, was more than likely had Bush and Company not used terror as a scare tactic weeks before the contest was decided.


Seamy Side of Huffington Post

Is Huffington Post getting more clicks for “swimsuit stuff — not politics”? http://ow.ly/ltas


I asked Sheffner if he had looked at Huffington Post. “I don’t go there a lot, but when I do I notice their most viewed thing is always swimsuit stuff — not politics, which is what they’re supposed to be known for. Other people have been noting this. I haven’t done any scientific study. There are often titillating items of a sexual nature.”


COMMENT ON: Lessons in Leadership: Why Obama Needs to Brush Up on His FDR

Responding to Arianna Huffington’s Instruction to The President at HuffingtonPost

Once again, Ms. Huffington has taken it upon herself to instruct the President. I find this to be endemic among those who will say in the next breath that they voted for him. Some of us who voted for him are old enough to realize what the stakes are in this Presidency. And how large the proposed changes are.

If half the energy devising nostrums to edify our President was directed to interpreting his agenda to a largely uninformed public, one might be encouraged by the rise of new media. Instead it seems all too often to veer off into silliness and drama.

We seem to have a chorus of ambivalent damnation with faint praise. Or the obverse — faint praise with damnation included. Even Nobel prize winners and distinguished academics fall prey to this tendency, so don’t take it personally.

The President will succeed because a large majority knows what nattering is, regardless of who or where it comes from. What is not nattering is what will win Obama’s battles. It is called organizing and mobilizing and informing people about what he proposes and what we support.


Bob Dylan – Abraham Martin & John (Track 2 Yonder Comes Sin)

Moved here


The Argument for A Page Rank Like Pay Solution Web Wide

http://ow.ly/lp5K If Arianna is Right The Current Efforts to Create A Paid Content Option Will Fail

Ah, well, Arianna is probably correct in saying consumer habits have changed and that the barely hidden effort underway to consolidate media into a sort of pay-for-content union will fail.

It is hard to work out the economics of any effort top monetize a Web operation.

My own musing is that the only way a paid option will work is if it relates to all Web content, rewarding the originators of content according to a highly complex formula determined by a CSPAN-like panel. Uncompensated content would be paid for by a Web wide charge required of all ISPs. In other words, Roadrunner (my ISP) would charge me so much a year and that money would go into a pool to reward ALL uncompensated content on the Web.

The complex formula would reward The New York Times and its paid reporters vastly more than it would reward an aggregator or a blogger who opines on the news and runs excerpts of it. Static information sites such as theological or philosophical archives would be rewarded at a different rate than sites in these fields which had a good deal of original content, daily updates and so forth.

My premise is that everything will ultimately be done online. Some things will support themselves with ads. Some things with fees. The areas that are not adequately compensated at present — the blogosphere, the news providers, Huffington Post writers like me — would receive from the global pool.

Clearly this ISP related micro-payment model would need to weight things like traffic. inbound links and so forth, somewhat in the way Google creates its iffy but important page rank. We need something universal, intelligible and fair.

I see no other way to proceed.

politics, theology

Teddy Kennedy Sounded The Obama Message in the 1980s

Ted Kennedy Video with Jerry Falwell — Discusses His Faith http://ow.ly/loB5

Teddy Kennedy sounded the Obama message years before the President emerged. This video cuts off — unfortunately — after about five minutes, much of which is interplay between Kennedy and Falwell. But if you listen you will hear the theme of our being yoked together as Americans. Today that theme is the subject of a tug of war. I believe the President is on the side of history and that the apostles of intolerance are a vanishing breed. But as some recent comments here attest, I may be premature in my optimism.