"Only extremists would slobber so rabidly over the prospect of undoing 200 years of Senate tradition."
- Larry Dale Keeling, writer for the Lexington (KY) Herald-Leader, who is embarrassed to admit that Kentucky will "play host to a well-scripted immorality play in which political and religious extremists pummel truth beyond recognition and twist Christianity into an ugly caricature of itself in their crusade to give Dubya the opportunity to perform an extreme makeover on the federal courts, packing their benches with enough "faith first, law last" judges to tilt our legal system dangerously toward the model of the Spanish Inquisition."
After today, I will never trust Bill Frist to be someone who could unite America or Congress enough to be an effective or respected leader. By today's example, he not only divided Americans, but he also deliberately sunk a government-hatchet directly between conscientious followers of Christ. He's proved himself to be nothing more than a rabid panderer.
"What would be refreshing to see among all the people of faith in the United States is not a Justice Sunday to crusade for the right, or a Social Justice Sunday in answer, but something more akin to Lincoln's national day of prayer and thanksgiving.
Crusading is much easier than Christianity. But it doesn't provide much time for taking that log out of our own eyes, that we might better see the mote in our brother's and sister's."
Whose Garden Was This? Words and Music by Tom Paxton
On January 31 2004, the Onondaga County Music Educators' Association held their Junior High All-County Music Festival. There were 125 voices in the chorus and my son's voice was one of them. I'd like you to hear a song that they performed that day. Being that this was the week of Earth Day, I thought you might think about the lyrics. Here it is:
photo by Jude Nagurney Camwell
Whose garden was this? It must have been lovely. Did it have flowers? I've seen pictures of flowers, And I'd love to have smelled one.
Whose river was this? You say it ran freely? Blue was its color? I've seen blue in some pictures, And I'd love to have been there.
Ah, tell me again I need to know: The forest had trees, the meadows were green, The oceans were blue and birds really flew, Can you swear that is true?
Whose grey sky is this? Or was it a blue one? Nights, there were breezes? I've heard records of breezes, And you tell me you've felt one?
Ah, tell me again I need to know: The forest had trees, the meadows were green, The oceans were blue and birds really flew, It is true - all too true.
Whose garden was this? It must have been lovely. Did it have flowers? I've seen pictures of flowers, And I'd love to have smelled one....
"Define your own voice rather than imitating others. Cut against the forces of conformity. The forces of conformity are market-driven, driven by titillation and temptation, as opposed to decency and dignity."
- Cornel West
David Wharton writes about Cornel West's appearance at the Cone Ballroom at UNCG (Greensboro) this past Friday night.
Israpundit would like to know how long Fox News will ignore the protests of American Jews regarding Ariel Sharon's plan for Gaza disengagement, especially the huge protest scheduled for Central Park. One commenter at Israpundit says: "Fox is, and has always been, the PR Dept. for the Bush Personality Cult....and their allies."
While wishing Dan the best of luck, I refer you to a story he's running on his blog about David Weinberger, who became a bit disgusted with an assignment that was given to him by MSNBC - so much that he decided he'd stop being one of those 'bloggers who get to be on TV'. It's fairly clear that it was about a clash of values. Jeff Jarvis is talking about it, too. I've put in my two cents' worth at Jeff's first post about the issue.
I am finding Jay Rosen's post on Stand Alone journalists to be the most interesting topic to come up in quite some time. I am a completely homegrown citizen-journalist. I've spent most of my professional life in the business world, working in the personal lines Property and Casualty insurance field. Politics, writing and journalism have always been my passion, but not my professional calling. Yet, here I stand today, just as alone as the other bloggers, doing what I believe I'm meant to do - and what I believe I do well.
In the Press Think column, I was particularly attracted to Jay's reference to blogger Paul Conley, who has been blogging about trade journals and how stand alone journalism may affect competition between B2B press and "stand-aloners". Conley says:
"..maybe I should put more emphasis on the competitive threat of the citizen journalists. Perhaps that will get more folks to pay attention. By its very nature, the B2B press caters to a specialized audience of experts. The reader of your typical trade magazine tends to know an enormous amount about the subject at hand. That gives him a nearly instant credibility should he choose to start a blog and compete against you."
"Traditional B2B publishers also face a "stand alone" threat from their own editors and reporters. The Web and blogging makes it much easier for someone to strike out on his own, using the sources he met while working for a trade publication, and cashing in on his own reputation as an expert. If you're a trade publisher, look across your newsroom now at that guy. You know the one. He's been there for 20 years. Before that he worked for your competitor. He knows everyone and everyone knows him. He speaks at trade shows, gets all the story tips. He has become, in a very real sense, synonymous with your brand. And ask yourself: what would happen if he left to start his own business?"
For a look at how certain publications have already addressed the changes in the media world, Conley uses the example of Variety's variety of blogs (pun intended).
Mark Bitz is an unlikely hero - an Upstate NY turkey farmer running a business that has been owned in his family since 1835 - and a new voice for political leadership. Mark wishes to persuade "the Republican and Democratic Party committees to nominate common, plain-speaking candidates with win-win philosophies, who are committed to restoring the democratic process." Mark appealed to the need for direct democracy in New York State, and he read a letter which he has recently written to NYS Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno (R) and Democratic Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, making a plea for direct democracy and stating his belief that 19 million citizens are more important than their power. He asked, other than arrogance, what could be the reason citizens are not allowed direct voting on issues that have direct impact upon them? Mark also stressed the need for redistricting and Campaign Finance reform in NY State.
Matthew Maguire recommended that all Libertarians who care to get out their message should learn how to blog.
John Taylor Gatto was the keynote speaker on Saturday afternoon. He offered two 40-minute sessions on the topic which he referred to as "Weapons of Mass Instruction", offering up his ideas about education reform in the United States. He doesn't believe that bad teachers, bad administrators, or even bad parents are the problem with U.S. education. Rather, he says he believes it is is the design of the institution altogether - from its very inception. He blames leading industrialists such as Andrew Carnegie and John T. Rockefeller, who engineered public schooling to serve a modified command economy and an increasingly layered social order.
He spoke about a new project, a retreat center called Solitude to be created in Chenango County in Upstate New York. He believes that solitude is all-important to a person's character development and that schools are too big and too concerned with surveillance to allow for necessary solitude.
Thanks again to Bonnie Scott for extending the invitation.