Archive >  2008 >  October >  13 Previous / Next

Scripting News, the weblog started in 1997 that bootstrapped the blogging revolution.

When they criticize P.O.O.T.U.S. Permanent link to this item in the archive.

I just invented a new acronym: President Obama Of The United States.

Knock wood. ;->

Okay it really looks like he's going to win, forgive me for saying that, I know it's not a good idea, and I don't really believe it but just in case...

I saw this picture on the wall in a scene in last night's 60 Minutes. Leslie Stahl is interviewing Ray Odierno, the new US commander in Iraq. He was showing off some new technique of hunting down the bad guys with drones, very impressive, except I just watched Generation Kill on HBO and I can't help but wondering if it's a fraud and a hoax. Anyway. On the wall is this portrait of President Bush superimposed on the American flag with the Statue of Liberty in the background.


A picture named bushPortrait.jpg

That's pretty outrageously out there.

So when my guy Barack, POOTUS, is in the White House and the wingnuts are giving him shit about how he seems to be enjoying the trappings of the presidency, I'm going to ask them to have a look at this picture and see if Dubya wasn't just a teeeeeny bit over the top here. ;->

Permanent link to this item in the archive. 10/13/2008; 2:46:31 PM  

Autumn colors Permanent link to this item in the archive.

A picture named autumn.jpg

Permanent link to this item in the archive. 10/12/2008; 6:28:26 PM  

Michelle Malkin, like her party, is out of touch Permanent link to this item in the archive.

A picture named thinkusa.gifMichelle Malkin has some imagery that shows that there are people with evil imaginations about the Republican candidates, and if the threats are credible the Secret Service should prosecute them to the full extent of the law. If Governor Palin or Senator McCain were hurt or killed because we didn't take action now, it would be a national tragedy the country wouldn't recover from for a long time. (But does she really think Madonna is a physical threat to her candidate?)

There's a world of difference between a random "out there" nutcase expressing his or her rage graphically on a website and the Republican Party's candidates pushing the anger and hate, and not responding in revulsion when they see it at one of their rallies -- and continue to push it after it's taken root. I was relieved to see McCain denounce the hate on Friday, but there were many times when he said nothing, and so far his running mate has not said a word to object when people have threatened Senator Obama at her rallies. That's just crazy. Doesn't she understand that she and her family are equally threatened by this lunacy? They are, for sure.

I don't think Malkin is stupid, but I do wonder if she understands how it would wreck our country if harm came to Senator Obama. And how it would reflect on her party if they played a role in promoting the hate behind the attack. I can only assume she hasn't thought it through. Please Ms. Malkin, get off the ledge, come back to reality.

Permanent link to this item in the archive. 10/12/2008; 12:41:22 PM  

Electoral vote calculators Permanent link to this item in the archive.

A picture named mymapsmall.gifCNN, NPR and USA Today both have interactive maps that allow you to play what-if with the electoral vote map. I'm sure there are others. But I wish one of them allowed me to embed the map in my blog, and have it automatically update as I edit it. They would take over the web in an instant.

As it is, it's a lot of fun to play prognosticator. Here's the map as I think it'll turn out. I almost painted Indiana and West Virginia blue, but then I decided that's too much and went back to red. Let's look back here on November 5 to see how it turned out (assuming the world is still here).

Update: Kos has a very nice map that editable and embeddable, but it's too big to be useful here. I have embedded it in a page on the OPML Howto site.

Permanent link to this item in the archive. 10/12/2008; 10:21:50 AM  

Waiting for November 4 Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Are the markets are waiting to find out who wins the election?

Will trust return if the voters go... for Obama? Republican?

Me, I can't wait for the election to be over. But I'm totally looking forward to the final debate (we're doing another debate party at the Hillside Club, Wednesday 5:30PM, $5) and I'm totally looking forward to the W movie that opens on October 17 (next Friday).

Thinking about a blogger's event for election returns on November 4. A newsroom where 20 bloggers report on the returns in real time, Hypercamp-like.

A picture named ronaldMcDonald.jpgAfter November 4, the credit markets will unfreeze, all people who were laid off will be re-hired. The stock market will soar to 20,000. Housing prices resume their march to the sky, home owners once again can borrow against the soaring value of their homes. Massive amounts of oil will be discovered in the middle of the Nevada desert, and scientists at Cal will find a way to convert carbon dioxide into gasoline so we won't even need to tap our newfound reserve. President Obama takes office and announces he's eliminated taxes and retired the national debt, and we all can work three-day weeks. A new drug is discovered that reverses the aging process. Microsoft relents and buys Yahoo at $200 per share.

Permanent link to this item in the archive. 10/12/2008; 8:47:05 AM  

A note about conferences Permanent link to this item in the archive.

A picture named hope.jpgI was recently invited to keynote a prestigious conference in a European city. I agreed to speak but only on the condition that they cover my expenses. I didn't ask to be paid for my time, but after they said no, I realize I should have.

Here's why. I didn't have a product to pitch or have a company that could benefit from the PR. If I were in their shoes (and I have been) I would insist on covering expenses, otherwise the talks would just be advertisements. It seems analogous to asking a vendor to write an article in your publication, and somehow expecting that it wouldn't be an advertisement.

That's why most conferences aren't worth going to -- you're being pitched by people with a business model for being there. However if conferences were treated like journals, where you were required to only share your knowledge and not promote your products, they might be more interesting.

BTW, this came up once before -- with a conference about syndication in NYC. I agreed to speak but only if they covered expenses. They said no. They thought they were being generous by letting me speak for free! I thought they were being hypocritical, every other speaker there was promoting a product, I didn't have a product to promote.

So I thought -- why not offer my services to promote someone else's product. (When they found out they disinvited me. Ouch!)

How the world got this crazy I don't know, but it must be part of the bubble that's bursting now. ;->

Bottom line -- if you're speaking at a conference and they're not at least covering expenses, it's probably all advertising.

Permanent link to this item in the archive. 10/10/2008; 2:35:11 PM  

Will this election end in a civil war? Permanent link to this item in the archive.

During the Democratic primary, as the choice narrowed to Obama and Clinton, it was pretty common for people to say that no matter what we'd have a strong nominee and President. There was a lot of confidence that either candidate would win the election over the Republican alternative, and would go on to be a strong leader.

As the campaign went on, this feeling faded -- losing became unthinkable on both sides, and the campaign turned ugly -- but there was still something held in reserve, some places we did not go. I can't speak for anyone else as to why we didn't go for broke, but my own opinion is that we felt that after the primary we'd have to work together. And while there was some discussion before the DNC that the party was split, the convention unified the party.

A picture named jaws.gifWhat about after the general election, now less than a month away? The same logic applies. We'll all be Americans, and we must unite behind the President, no matter how unthinkable that might seem now. But there's a lot of concern, expressed openly, that there will be violence if Obama wins -- that somehow the Republicans will not feel that an African-American, even if he wins the Electoral College, is a legitimate President. If so, this is a prescription for nothing less than civil war.

I know what it feels like to be bewildered by the choice made by our country. I felt we were poised on a precipice of disaster in 2004 when we re-elected President Bush, but I accepted the result. I said at the time that we need to listen to the Americans who voted for him, because they must be trying to say something. Well, I spent four years listening and nothing came back. So we worked and patiently waited as our country continued to fumble and blunder and waste opportunity after opportunity. Now, facing a global economic collapse, and who knows what politically and militarily, our country will have to either unite, or fly apart.

I'm going to add my voice, as humble and unpowerful as it is, to the growing chorus asking the Republicans to take a step back, and think longer term, bigger picture. This is not going to end well if we can't agree that whoever wins this election is our leader for the next four years, at a time when we desperately need leadership. There's an awful spirit to this competition that says when it's over we will not unite, and that would be a disaster.

McCain must give a speech, like the one given by Obama when racial issues came to the front earlier this year, and say clearly that no matter who wins, we must unite behind the new President. I have no doubt that Obama would echo this. Then during the remaining weeks of the campaign we can rebuild the spirit that America is famous for, and prepare to face the huge challenges that are in front of (all of) us.

Update #1: Cross-posted at Huffington.

Update #2: He's going in the right direction, believe it or not, despite the certainty of some of the commenters here that it would be tantamount to conceding.

Permanent link to this item in the archive. 10/10/2008; 12:13:10 PM  

Where to go? Permanent link to this item in the archive.

A picture named us.gifI've got the rest of the month reserved for travel, to see the election up front and close up, with camera, laptop, audio, video and EVDO. I'm trying to figure out if I should go, and where.

I want to be in a state that both campaigns see as critical, so I can drive from city to city and be in the crowds at rallies and talk to the people there. Not like this guy who baited them (they seemed like partisans, not the monsters he was making them out to be). Just want to know what they think. And not as a campaign worker for Obama, though I have given money to his campaign.

Part of the problem is that McCain isn't going to all the places he should be. He just spent two days in Wisconsin. I could park my kiester there, and be pretty sure at some point I'd see surrogates for both campaigns, but I want to go where the stars are going.

Florida may be the best bet. I know the state really well, spent a lot of time there over many years, all parts -- western, northern, east coast and west.

Any thoughts? I'd probably leave a week from tomorrow. Fly to a city, rent a car, and then go to the first campaign event.

Also I'm looking for pages on both Republican and Democratic sites that say where the candidates will be in the next 24-48 hours. I know they make the info available to the press, but as usual I can't get either campaign to respond to me as if I were press.

Maybe New Mexico? Not too hard to pick a spot there. And it's close to Colorado.

A picture named bush.jpg

Permanent link to this item in the archive. 10/10/2008; 11:10:53 AM  

McCain is a coward Permanent link to this item in the archive.

He says in this interview that no one has accused him of lacking courage. He must not be listening.

Everything about McCain these days is cowardice.

Permanent link to this item in the archive. 10/10/2008; 9:32:03 AM  

Snoozing to victory? Permanent link to this item in the archive.

A picture named mccainSupporters.jpg

Permanent link to this item in the archive. 10/9/2008; 2:53:00 PM  

Flirting her way to victory? Permanent link to this item in the archive.

A picture of Sarah Palin flirting with the audience during the VP debate.

Guardian: "At least three times, Sarah Palin, the adorable, preposterous vice-presidential candidate, winked at the audience. Had a male candidate with a similar reputation for attractive vapidity made such a brazen attempt to flirt his way into the good graces of the voting public, it would have universally noted, discussed and mocked."

Permanent link to this item in the archive. 10/9/2008; 11:13:57 AM  

Country First Permanent link to this item in the archive.

A picture named countryFirst.gifThe hypocrisy of the Republicans is so caustic and damaging in so many ways I hardly know where to begin. But the thing that gets me most is this idea that they put "Country First." What a crock. When they attack people who support their opponents, they're attacking half of the country they say they love and supposedly put first. I've had trouble putting my finger on this for years but there it is. Love isn't something you just talk about, it's something you do.

Think of it this way, Al Gore got more than 50 percent of the votes in the 2000 election. John Kerry got pretty close to 50 percent. Win or lose, Barack Obama will get 50 percent, more or less. So if you love America, it seems you must love the people who voted for Gore, Kerry and Obama too. Otherwise, please explain specifically what it is that you love cause it ain't America.

Another one that ticks me off, as a taxpayer -- the Republicans say that paying taxes isn't an act of patriotism. Well, what is it then? That's a straight question. I've given a lot of money to this country in the form of taxes. I don't resent it, but I do resent people who probably have given less than I have (the Palins) saying it isn't an act of patriotism. I even call it My Patriotic Duty, so I don't feel like it's such a blow when I write those checks to the the U.S. Treasury with all those zeros at the end. It's the price you pay for living in a great country, Ms. Palin. That's something you need to learn about this country and its relationship to its citizens. Esp since you propose to be one of our leaders.

The politics of the Republicans this year has crossed the line, as Joe Biden said today, so well. When one of your supporters yells Treason! or Kill Him! in one of your rallies, in response to your words, a response is called for, yet no response came. You need to stop and say "Wait a minute -- Country First asshole." We're not going to get anywhere by killing our opponents, the leaders of half our citizens. That's a civil war, Republicans -- we fought one of those, and it came pretty close to destroying us. It's time to back off the precipice Ms. Palin and Mr. McCain.

Further, we're told, often, of John McCain's courage and heroism. I expected McCain, a supposed man of honor, to address the personal integrity issues about Obama in yesterday's debate. He didn't. I visualize McCain as a coward hiding behind the skirts of his running mate, without the guts to say to Obama's face, the terrible things they've been accusing him of when he's not present to defend himself. Either you have the honor to say it to his face, or don't say it behind his back, or don't pretend to have honor and courage, to love your country and to put it first.

Update: Cross-posted at Huffington with a new title.

Permanent link to this item in the archive. 10/8/2008; 11:43:21 AM  

My Fellow Prisoners Permanent link to this item in the archive.

As Sarah Palin said so well: "Thanks but no thanks."

Permanent link to this item in the archive. 10/8/2008; 7:08:01 PM  

Had my fill of Nashville Permanent link to this item in the archive.

A picture named tennessee.gifFiveThirtyEight: "By the way, a special shout out for an absolutely horrible experience on the campus of Belmont University. I'm not sure I've ever been to a less welcoming place. We hated this campus and the staff here so much that we left to watch the debate at a pizza joint. I don't like to regret things, but it would be hard to overstate how terrible a day this has been, and how crappy every interaction we had in Tennessee was. It was a terrible decision to leave Indiana and come down here. That had to be said for the record."

Yup, been there myself.

Permanent link to this item in the archive. 10/8/2008; 7:29:54 AM  

Advice for Chris Messina Permanent link to this item in the archive.

A picture named sink1.jpgIf you're interested in how formats and protocols evolve on the web, you might want to listen to Steve Gillmor's interview of Chris Messina on yesterday's Gillmor Gang.

I used to do roughly what Chris does, but I got tired of all the kitchen sinks being thrown at me because of my success from people who work at big tech companies. They have all kinds of techniques for thwarting success, but one simple motive, as I've come to understand it.

All big tech companies are basically the same inside, they all have too many people so they expend a lot of energy fighting with each other over who has the right to do this or that. There's always someone looking over your shoulder for a sign that you're blowing it, so they can tell someone at a higher level in management about your failure, so they can snatch the project for themselves.

When an independent developer such as Chris or myself is introduced to this mess, it's usually at the behest of someone very high up the structure of the big tech company because we tend to be visible to the outside world, relative to the typical grunt inside the BigCo. Our visibility and our introduction by the TopGuy immediately breeds resentment -- before they even meet you they don't like you, or worse, are committed to your failure. And while there may be penalties for hitting someone inside the corporate hierarchy, there's no penalty for offing the outsider. Inside the company they're playing a big game of musical chairs, but we outsiders can't play -- there's no mechanism whereby we can get a chair.

A picture named sink2.jpgBut no one lays it out for us this clearly. It takes years of trying to work with the BigCo's to figure out that while the TopGuy smiles and shakes our hand at conferences, and maybe even says kind things about us in a press release, there is zero chance that the people who actually make the decisions, the Ouija board of all the engineers and their managers, will work with us.

I should say almost zero instead of zero. I've had two examples of times when BigTechCos said they were working with me, and really did do the work, and several examples outside the tech industry, in publishing. In one case, with XML-RPC in 1998, it was because a handful of engineers who really were mavericks (unlike John McCain who just throws spitballs from the back of the room) and believed in something, and were respected enough inside Microsoft to cut through the corporate bullshit, but only for a very short period of time (really just two or three weeks). The machine eventually clamped down and turned it into a mess, owned by the W3C and IBM, Sun, and 18,000 other BigCos and BigCo-wannabes.

The other example was RSS, which only worked because the company I was working with, Netscape, evaporated into thin air in the middle of the project! So, if after getting a TopGuy to go for it, somehow you're lucky enough that the company self-destructs, you actually can get something done with a BigCo. ;->

A picture named sink3.jpgI recognize from Chris's rap on the GG podcast that he gets something important that most BigCo guys don't. The question, asked by the BigCo guy, isn't why invent another way to do standards, that's what Lakoff calls "framing" -- assuming something in the question that isn't actually what's going on. You don't start out trying to create a standard (and I'd encourage Chris to drop the word from his vocabulary) -- what you want to do is make a product, and allow others to compete with you, so you aren't locking your users in. That's the virtue of the development process Chris and his buddies are advocating. If a standard pops out, it happens later in the process.

Chris is an idealist and it's good to have them around, for sure. And it's also good to think of his work as the proving ground for standards work at the IETF and W3C that will come later, but unfortunatley I'm pretty sure they don't see it that way. When it comes time to reinvent OAuth they will probably try to break it. I say try, because if you play it right they won't be able to.

So my advice to Chris is, if it isn't already obvious, don't explain why the BigCos aren't following your lead, shrug your shoulders and let them do the explaining. Eventually if you do your job well, they will follow, they'll have to. They will never follow out of the goodness of their hearts, because (sorry to say) that's not what they do.

Update: is for sale, minimum bid $500K. Oy.

Permanent link to this item in the archive. 10/7/2008; 10:12:48 AM  

Watch-The-Debate-In-Berkeley 2.0 Permanent link to this item in the archive.

A picture named gecko.jpgLet's watch tonight's debate together. Barack Obama and John McCain. 5:30PM at the Hillside Club, 2286 Cedar St.

$5 suggested contribution to cover expenses. This is a non-partisan affair, you don't have to support either candidate.

Last time we had about 200 people, not sure how many will show up this time. The projection should be better this time. We're probably going to go with CNN, because of their fancy real-time polling tech, but I'll bring the EyeTV receiver with me, in any case.

Raines is arranging for Cheesboard pizza, as last time -- but instead of All You Can Eat, this time it's Pay Per Slice.

It was really nice last time to watch the debate with 200 fellow Californians, and people mostly didn't talk over the candidates, which of course is really good.

If you're in the area hope to see you there tonight. ;->

Permanent link to this item in the archive. 10/7/2008; 9:28:10 AM  

IRC for tonight's debate Permanent link to this item in the archive.

The debate starts at 6PM Pacific.


Seeya on the IRC! ;->

Permanent link to this item in the archive. 10/7/2008; 4:03:57 PM  

Keating Economics Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Now you can download the 13-minute movie via BitTorrent.

Thanks to RaveDelay for providing a complete copy of the movie! It appears to be complete and high-def. ;->

Permanent link to this item in the archive. 10/6/2008; 9:24:14 AM  

Why is McCain talking about the sixties? Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Permanent link to this item in the archive. 10/6/2008; 2:29:12 PM  

Internet fallout from the crashing market? Permanent link to this item in the archive.

A picture named divingbell.jpgThe stock market continues to crash, down almost 500 points today, below 10K for the first time in four years. I'm taking a bath, but not as bad as some, since I sold all my stocks in January and have been getting back in very very gradually.

However, I'm concerned about the health of some of the Internet companies I depend on. It doesn't take many failures for the Internet that we depend on to start going dark. What if for example your domain registrar were to go under, or the company hosting your DNS, or your colo facility? There are a lot of points of failure that in normal times could be easily replaced to keep your web presence up. But it's time to start thinking about how that might work. And who you can trust.

I assume we can trust Google and Microsoft to stay on the air? eBay? Amazon? What about TechCrunch? Scripting News? :-(

I'm not just starting to think about this, but I haven't wanted to say anything unless I was fairly sure that it was going to become a prolonged thing. It's looking more like that every day. I guess the future is starting and it's got different rules from the recent past.

Permanent link to this item in the archive. 10/6/2008; 9:35:56 AM  

The answer is in Permanent link to this item in the archive.

To the question I asked last night about the market being at a bottom..

A picture named dow.gif


Permanent link to this item in the archive. 10/6/2008; 8:50:36 AM  

Market at bottom? Permanent link to this item in the archive.

A picture named bottom.gif

Guardian: Now Wall Street may shun $700bn bail-out. "Analysts believe that the mere presence of the government as buyer of last resort will be enough to get credit markets moving again, and that a large number of banks would not need to take part for the legislation to succeed."

Time to buy?

Update: Latest This American Life tutorial on the financial crisis.

Permanent link to this item in the archive. 10/5/2008; 5:26:09 PM  

I'd like to have a word with Republicans Permanent link to this item in the archive.

If there are any Republicans out there...

A picture named lincoln.jpgI know some of you are honorable people, good Americans, taxpayers, people who love your families, pay your taxes, do your best to live by the Golden Rule. People who try to do the right thing, whatever that is. It's to those Republicans that I wish to have a few words.

1. Barack Obama is an honorable person. You may not agree with him, or like where he would take our country, that's your right of course, but he doesn't "pal around" with terrorists. I think we all know that, right? If you have any doubts, you can skip the rest of this post, and please don't leave any comments.

2. Your candidate is pretty safe from Democratic counter-attacks because the they don't resort to tactics like that. Note that it would be easy to do so, McCain has lots of skeletons in his closet. The press knows about them, people who study this stuff do too. And Obama has the money to make these national issues, but he isn't doing it.

3. All you need to know about me is that I've voted Republican in Presidential elections more often than I've voted Democratic. I belong to neither party. I only want good choices, I would love to have a choice for President where the toughest part of the decision is which of two excellent candidates do I vote for. Unfortunately I've never had that problem, quite the opposite, it's always been a matter of holding my nose and voting for someone I can't stand, only because I couldn't stand the other guy more. This election is the first time I've ever felt like I was voting for a good man. I've done my homework, read his books, watched him in some very difficult sitatuations, observed the kind of campaign he's running and the organization he's building. I would be proud to have him lead my country, I think he would do a good job, for all of us.

A picture named bushBushClinton.jpg4. This crazy stuff about him palling around with terrorists is only serving to burn whatever bridges your party has left with people like me. If it goes far enough I will not only never vote Republican again, but I will swear an oath to do everything I can to put your party out of its misery, for the good of all Americans.

5. I urge you to use whatever influence you have with your party to get them to stick to the economy, the wars, energy, taxes, health care, education, housing, infrastructure, the stuff that is the proper domain of politicians. Deliberately misleading like this is bad politics.

6. Thanks for listening.

A picture named mcc.gif

Permanent link to this item in the archive. 10/5/2008; 3:06:06 AM  

John McCain's health records must be released Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Permanent link to this item in the archive. 10/4/2008; 4:46:31 PM  

T. Boone Who? Permanent link to this item in the archive.

I've been meaning to write this piece for a while.

First thing you gotta know, T. Boone Pickens is the guy who funded the Swiftboat ads that trashed the reputation of John Kerry during the 2004 election. Kerry is a war veteran, who, according to the frequently stated values of the right wing, deserves our gratitude and respect. The same way John McCain is always reminding us that he was a P.O.W. -- Kerry is that kind of hero. You don't see Democrats running ads attacking McCain's service like the ones Pickens ran, because they're not the low-life scum that he is. For what he did, he deserves our eternal loathing and hatred. A man like that has no honor. There is no trusting such a person. Ever.

I felt I had to say something when I saw him on stage at the Big Tent at the DNC in Denver, after seeing him on countless TV ads trying to sell himself as a leader for energy independence for the United States.

A picture named roveBush.jpgI thought to myself now that guy is truly clueless. Doesn't he know that he burned his bridges? That most of the people who care about energy independence are the exact same people who loathe him for the kind of right wing scorched earth zero-honor politics he practices? Hasn't anyone told him that he's wasting his time and money -- that his reputation is shit with all intelligent and honorable Americans?

I felt I had an obligation to tell him this, even though I've never met the guy. He should know he's wasting his money. Now I've cleared that one up I can move on with my life.

And his plight should serve as a warning to anyone who is thinking of running Swiftboat-like ads this year. Someday you may want to do something serious. Don't burn your bridges. Try to keep a bit of honor in your life, you might want to use it someday.

Permanent link to this item in the archive. 10/4/2008; 4:14:12 PM  

Greatest Hits of the Republican Party Permanent link to this item in the archive.

A picture named nkr.jpg

That's a young Rumsfeld at the left.

And Kissinger has reared his head in the McCain campaign.

Guess who else was lurking in the shadows of the Nixon Presidency? And of course the current Republican standard bearer is completely surrounded by people one step removed from both Bush and Nixon.

We also know that Rove was an associate of convicted Watergate conspirator Donald Segretti.

No wonder so many core ideas of the Nixon era are accepted, unquestioned by the current crop of Republicos.

Permanent link to this item in the archive. 10/4/2008; 12:54:28 PM  

John McCain is channeling Nixon now Permanent link to this item in the archive.

A picture named nixon.jpgThe Republicans of 2008 tried to sell us Ronald Reagan, but switched to Teddy Roosevelt when Reagan's deregulation became the financial collapse of 2008. Now they seem to be switching again, in yet another reckless attempt to reignite culture wars, trying to sell us the Republican Party of Richard Nixon.

McCain is quoted in today's NY Times, asking "How can you countenance someone who was engaged in bombings that could have or did kill innocent people?" I had to look twice to be sure who was being quoted and who he was talking about. Yup it was McCain and he was talking about William Ayers, who in the 60s was a member of the Weather Underground.

What McCain isn't telling you, and many Americans are too young to remember, including the Democratic nominee for President, is that there were two sides to the culture war of the 60s. The side he is adopting, the side of Richard Nixon, was that there is a Silent Majority that supported the war in Vietnam, and the side represented by the anti-war movement, who, it turns out actually did reflect the opinion of the majority of Americans, that the war in Vietnam was a terrible mistake. If one were to measure the goodness of one side over the other based on how many innocents they killed, there's no doubt that McCain's side killed far more. Orders of magnitude more.

In Thursday's debate the Republican candidate said that every Presidency makes mistakes, and it's true of generations too. She said we shouldn't look back to the Bush Administration for their mistakes, so what is the point of McCain digging up the mistakes of Nixon? Or maybe it does deserve looking at, if so, at least Ayers has moved on and done something constructive with his life. McCain, who likely bombed his share of innocents in the 60s, didn't learn, and took us into another senseless war in which we are again killing huge numbers of innocents.

A picture named nk.jpgIf we're going to have this discussion, and re-litigate the outrages of the 60s, let's look at it from both sides. Or perhaps as so many have, we should just move on and deal with the problems of today and learn from the mistakes of the past.

Update #1: Jane Smiley writing at Huffpost saw the same irony. "John McCain's defense is that he was performing his patriotic duty, and that's what William Ayers would have said, too." Again, the perennial response to Republicans is that they don't have an exclusive on love of country. I wonder when they'll ever hear that and stop claiming one.

Update #2: In my travels I came across this 1972 infomercial for Nixon. You gotta watch it. It'll give you a fresh perspective on how all this Republican michegas got started.

Permanent link to this item in the archive. 10/4/2008; 8:21:45 AM  

October surprise? Permanent link to this item in the archive.

I just listened to a chilling but fascinating edition of FreshAir.

So chilling and thought-provoking it will certainly help you forget Sarah Palin, and might just get you to forget the subprime meltdown crisis depression, etc.

The big question -- will an October Surprise, one that gives us four more years of Republican rule in the US be an American attack on Iran, or an American-approved attack by Israel?

The subject of the interview, Robert Baer, is absolutely sure that if that happens, the Iranians will shut down the flow of oil to the world from the entire Persian Gulf.

A picture named straits.gif

That's the Straits of Hormuz, the place all the arrows are pointing at. It's tiny. All the oil from Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, etc flows through there. If Iran wants they can shut that down at any time. Attack Iran, they say, and that's the end of oil. Baer says that would start a depression that makes the subprime meltdown look like a day in the park. He calls it a Hail Mary Pass, one that Bush might throw, one last chance to save his legacy and keep the White House in Republican hands.

Have a listen, if you have the time. It's riveting radio.

Permanent link to this item in the archive. 10/3/2008; 3:23:05 PM  

Time Loves a Hero Permanent link to this item in the archive.

A picture named timeLovesAHero.jpgRandom news links to start the day.

If you're following the news of the election as it heads into the final stretch, I can't recommend highly enough our NewsJunk headline service. There's so much news. It's an excellent way to keep up. Via: the website, RSS, mobile, Twitter, FF,, google group. If you can think of another way let me know. News is breaking so fast, and imho, this is the best way to stay informed.

The event at the Hillside Club was an unqualified success. A couple of hundred people showed up. We're going to try to do it again for the Presidential debates. (One problem -- somehow the Obama people got the idea this was a campaign event, it wasn't. Next time we have to make that much more clear.)

I kept thinking "Sarah Palin sandbagged us" -- that the interviews she did were deliberately bad to set the debate expectations unbelievably low. I still despise everything she stands for, but she did a credible debate, as did Joe Biden.

The title of this section is a great Little Feat song, one of my favorite bands. Founded in the 70s as a spinout of the Mothers of Invention, it was named after Lowell George's feet, which were very little. He mis-spelled the word as a tribute to the Beatles. Time Loves a Hero always made me think of my uncle, who took a fishing boat to Jamaica not Puerto Rico, and whose birthday, had he lived, was this week on Oct 1.

I love the way you can get a low-rez version of almost any song on YouTube and I love that the music industry hasn't shut it down. I don't often have cause to thank the music industry, so Thanks! ;->

Permanent link to this item in the archive. 10/3/2008; 5:39:18 AM  

Random news of the day Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Just some news items I wanted to share.

IRC for tonight's debate, which starts at 6PM Pacific.

What the meltdown looks like.

McCain is pulling out of Michigan.

Obama radio commercial playing in southern Virginia.

Celebrities debate whether you should vot.

Permanent link to this item in the archive. 10/2/2008; 12:08:26 PM  

Last update: Monday, October 13, 2008 at 3:05 PM Pacific.

A picture named dave.jpgDave Winer, 53, pioneered the development of weblogs, syndication (RSS), podcasting, outlining, and web content management software; former contributing editor at Wired Magazine, research fellow at Harvard Law School, entrepreneur, and investor in web media companies. A native New Yorker, he received a Master's in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin, a Bachelor's in Mathematics from Tulane University and currently lives in Berkeley, California.

"The protoblogger." - NY Times.

"The father of modern-day content distribution." - PC World.

One of BusinessWeek's 25 Most Influential People on the Web.

"Helped popularize blogging, podcasting and RSS." - Time.

"The father of blogging and RSS." - BBC.

"RSS was born in 1997 out of the confluence of Dave Winer's 'Really Simple Syndication' technology, used to push out blog updates, and Netscape's 'Rich Site Summary', which allowed users to create custom Netscape home pages with regularly updated data flows." - Tim O'Reilly.

Dave Winer Mailto icon

My most recent trivia on Twitter.

My Wish List

On This Day In: 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 1998 1997.

October 2008
Sep   Nov

Things to revisit:

1.Microsoft patent acid test.
2.What is a weblog?
3.Advertising R.I.P.
4.How to embrace & extend.
5.Bubble Burst 2.0.
6.This I Believe.
7.Most RSS readers are wrong.
8.Who is Phil Jones?
9.Send them away.
10.Negotiate with users.
11.Preserving ideas.
12.Empire of the Air.
13.NPR speech.
14.Russo & Hale.
15.Trouble at the Chronicle.
15.RSS 2.0.
16.Checkbox News.
17.Spreadsheet calls over the Internet.
18.Twitter as coral reef.
19.Mobs of the blogosphere.
20.Advice for Campaigns.
21.Social Cameras.
22.The Next Big Thing.
23.It's time to open up networking, again.
24.Am I competing?
25.Time to shake up conferences?
26.Bloggers working with journalists.

Teller: "To discover is not merely to encounter, but to comprehend and reveal, to apprehend something new and true and deliver it to the world."

Click here to see a list of recently updated OPML weblogs.

Click here to read blogs commenting on today's Scripting News.

I'm a California voter for Obama.

Morning Coffee Notes, an occasional podcast by Scripting News Editor, Dave Winer.

Click here to see an XML representation of the content of this weblog.

Click here to view the OPML version of Scripting News.

© Copyright 1997-2008 Dave Winer.

Previous / Next