Thursday, July 15, 2004

Army: No court martial for "coward"

Army: No court martial for "coward"
I blogged last November about the fellow in the Army who suffered a panic attack after seeing a dead body in Iraq.

We now learn he will suffer no consequence (no--not even the death penalty).

A dreadful drug called mefloquine got him off the hook,  apparently.

I'm glad.  (Not that he was sickened by the Army-issued drug, but that he will not be punished).

Hillary given convention duty to introduce hubby

Hillary given convention duty to introduce hubby 
Senator  Hillary Clinton will be given the dubious honor of introducing her husband at the Democratic convention. This comes after an intense lobbying campaign by her backers angered by her non-speaking role.

She has gracefully accepted.

I don't think this will impress 21st-century female voters. It certainly doesn't impress me.

N.Y. Times talks about Convention bloggers

N.Y. Times talks about Convention bloggers

In today's N.Y. Times editorial, Convention bloggers get the spotlight.

The Democrats, needless to say, are already paying for their venturesome invitation. They received applications from 50 bloggers and later announced there was room for only 30. Conspiracy theories are already abounding on the blogs of the disinvited. Such is Web life. We do wonder whether a blogger's buccaneer self-image will suffer from having to wear a garish credential necklace just to watch conventioneers as they mainly say, "Nice to see you!" to each other. Will bloggers be tamed into centrism? Or, like Mencken, will they gleefully report that the convention's main speechmakers are "plainly on furlough from some home for extinct volcanoes"? Log on to find out.

Actually, it is my understanding that 200 bloggers had initially applied. As for me, this "disinvited" blogger, conspiracy was never a suspected motive. Administrative inefficiency was more like it. To err is human. The Times erred themselves in their reporting that only 50 applications arrived to the DNCC. Do you see how things get spun and confused? Such is the life of news reporting.

As I've said more than once, I was happy to have been invited and have hoped for (although have not expected) the reinstatement of all the "disinvited" (including the Conservative among us).

Feel free to read my words here.

While I agree that there's not anything particularly interesting about these "Nice to see you" schmooze-fests, I had hoped to follow the Kucinich camp and perhaps interview Dennis Kucinich himself. I suspect he would have offered me more than a "Nice to see you"...he never struck me as a "Nice to see you" kind of fellow.

In my opinion, the blogger's niche is the ability to get the smaller stories; the slice-of-life political stories that bare the heart and soul of the people who want to represent us. Those small stories add up to a truth for which the mainstream media simply has little time in a fast-paced and competitive environment. The good blogging stories are ones which I believe the mainstream media appreciates. They give reporters some refreshing insight. In this age of 24/7 cable news networks (such as FOX news) using manipulation, theatrical music, and secretive calculation to convince a malleable public, bloggers have been instrumental in fighting propaganda with folk-insistence upon a truthful focus on current events. The very fact that these bloggers have been credentialed for the Democratic convention should make the attending bloggers proud that they have been recognized as a legitimate source of interest and of truth. Web life is not just conspiracy theory and rumor. It's also a source of a folk-reality that the mainstream just can't seem to touch anymore.

The bloggers are the neo-pamphlateers. I don't expect an invitation to the schmoozing will shove bloggers to the center, but rather expect the bloggers (in true form) to see the schmoozing for precisely what it is...and cut right through to the heart of matters.

It's good to see us in the Times editorial. I let them know.

This Land!

This Land!

This is possibly the funniest political comedy I've seen on the web.

Don't miss it.

Media Matters shows FOX News not only unbalanced, but calculating

Media Matters shows FOX not only unbalanced, but calculating

"The memos are talking points instructing us what the themes are supposed to be. God help you if you stray.."

Media Matters has a series of articles tearing apart FOX News bit by bit and exposing them for the unprofessional, undignified, cunning and calculating network they are.

Doonesbury Cartoonist Skewers Bush

Doonesbury Cartoonist Skewers Bush

Futurballa lead me to this article where Gary Trudeau, who attended Yale with George Bush in the 1960s, speaks frankly about Bush, calling him the "best target he's worked with yet" in his Doonesbury comic strip.

Trudeau said he penned his very first cartoon to illustrate an article in the Yale Daily News on Bush and allegations that his fraternity, DKE, had hazed incoming pledges by branding them with an iron...The article in the campus paper prompted The New York Times to interview Bush, who was a senior that year. Trudeau recalled that Bush told the Times "it was just a coat hanger, and ... it didn't hurt any more than a cigarette burn."

"It does put one in mind of what his views on torture might be today," Trudeau said.

American Street: God talks to Dubya/Chuck has twins

American Street: God talks to Dubya/Chuck has twins

Congratulations to Chuck Currie and his wife on the birth of their twins. If anyone knows where he can get Kerry/Edwards baby gear, he'd appreciate hearing from you.

Photo credit:

Doug McDaniel has written an amusing "George, we need to talk" advice-session from God to Dubya.