Saturday, November 05, 2005

New site is up: Please go to should send you there, too (or do so soon).


I've had a great run on Radio, but I wanted a hosted service, and users have complained a lot about comments and availability. So, off we go...

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  Friday, November 04, 2005

Troublemaker: When a cop gets shot.

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Chewie went to see Desmond Tutu at Guilford. I urge you to read her report.

She opens with a quote from the Archbishop Emeritus: "It is a privilege to come to this city, the first in this country to have a Truth and Reconciliation Commission, embodying the theme of reconciling love. The world salutes Greensboro."

Read the whole thing.

More from Jay Ovittore and Hardy Floyd.

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DarkTimes: Krugman ("Defending Imperial Nudity") retells The Emporer's New Clothes as a tale of WMD:

The talk-show host Bill O'Reilly yelled, "Shut up! Shut up! Shut up!" at the little boy. Calling the boy a nut, he threatened to go to the boy's house and "surprise" him.

Fox News repeatedly played up possible finds of imperial clothing, then buried reports discrediting these stories. Months after the naked procession, a poll found that many of those getting most of their news from Fox believed that the emperor had in fact been clothed.

Imperial officials eventually admitted that they couldn't find any evidence that the suit ever existed, or that there had even been an effort to produce a suit. They insisted, however, that they had found evidence of wardrobe-manufacturing-and-distribution-related program activities.


Kicker: "And they all lived happily ever after -- in the story. Here in reality, a large and growing number are being killed by roadside bombs."

Friedman ("From Gunpowder to the Next Big Bang") says China is moving toward a new phase in its economy: "China is focusing on how to transform its classrooms so students become more innovative." Cultural obstacles remain, but Microsoft is already finding talent there, and a flood of venture capital may follow.

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The N&R steps up its coverage of the Truth & Reconciliation process with this solid story by Margaret Banks. The headline, "Truth panel sees signs of healing," is an improvement, too.

A community dialogue sponsored by the Truth & Reconciliation Commission will be held on Saturday at Mt. Zion Baptist Church on Alamance Church Rd. This is the thing the Mayor said he might attend.

Background links here.

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  Thursday, November 03, 2005

Marty Nathan responds to last night's apology by former neo-Nazi (and 1979 gunman) Roland Wayne Wood.

This could be interesting: "In discussion with Greensboro citizens he speaks of his relationship with undercover Bureau of Alcohol and Firearms agent Bernard Butkovich who also encouraged him to participate but then was himself absent from the gathering in Greensboro...We are gratified that he is willing to testify to the Greensboro Truth and Reconciliation and hope that he does shed himself of all the secrets that have been his over the years."

9:41:23 PM   permalink   comment []

Anyone want to help me import 5,000 Radio posts to TypePad? The Help files send me here, but that doesn't do me much good...I'm pretty much ready to launch the new site, but I would like to bring the old one along...

9:01:09 PM   permalink   comment []

Paris: La merde frappe le ventilateur.

Lots of immigrants to France end up in the grim suburbs of Paris. Many of these people are from former French colonies in North Africa -- it's been said there are more practicing Muslims in France than practicing Catholics -- and racial and religious tensions run high. That's the backdrop for the riots that have shaken Paris for the last week.

Years ago Lisa and I had dinner with a 16th-arrondissement doyenne who chastised us for America's treatment of black people. I asked if the French didn't have similar issues with the "beurs," as French slang identifies the children of these immigrants from the Maghreb.

"That's different," she said. "They steal and they smell."

This has been a long time coming.

2:52:43 PM   permalink   comment []

Things to do in Greensboro tonight:

Check out the Loewenstein Legacy lectures on modern architecture and preservation,  Weatherspoon Museum, 7 PM. (Free and open to public)

Catch a Speech by Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, Guilford College. (sold out)

Watch Meet John Doe, with Gary Cooper, The Scene on South Elm ($3)

Watch Survivor with Sydney. (invitation only)

2:22:33 PM   permalink   comment []

Gary Pearce and Carter Wrenn are blogging about politics.

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DarkTimes: Herbert ("Secrets and Shame") ledes with a prophecy: "Ultimately the whole truth will come out and historians will have their say, and Americans will look in the mirror and be ashamed."

He's talking about this: "The latest story from the Dante-esque depths of this administration was front-page news in The Washington Post yesterday. The reporter, Dana Priest, gave us the best glimpse yet of the extent of the secret network of prisons in which the C.I.A. has been hiding and interrogating terror suspects. The network includes a facility at a Soviet-era compound in Eastern Europe."

More: "This is the border along which democracy bleeds into tyranny."

Brooks does a MoDo impression, but the column-as-political-cartoon schtick doesn't really suit him. His conceit is that Harry Reid is a crazy conspiracy theorist, because lots of people back to the Clinton years thought Saddam had WMD, so this cooked-intelligence stuff is just wacky. "Harry Reid sits alone at his kitchen table at 4 a.m., writing important notes in crayon on the outside of envelopes," ledes Brooks, a line he repeats over and again in "The Harry da Reid Code."

8:12:16 AM   permalink   comment []

Lots of people are talking about Maureen Dowd's lonely-hearts piece in the Times mag, few with more attitude than Chris Nolan, who thinks Dowd misses the way we live now: "Mo doesn't do porn, wax or sex for that matter. In a world of on-line hook-ups and sex chat, and Friendster, she's still trying to figure out who's paying for dinner. Like all sex takes place at night after a good meal."

No doubt women still make a lot of trade-offs in this world. I'm married to one of them, a cum laude Ivy League grad and former Forbes reporter who has spent the last several years as a full-time mom. You tell her she sacrificed her principles to do that. Then, duck.

8:03:01 AM   permalink   comment []

Coble, Miller, and Watt all voted against free speech on the Internet.

Email your congressman and tell him you want to blog without Federal regulation.

6:59:07 AM   permalink   comment []

26 years later, a former Klan leader apologizes to Marty Nathan for his role in the 11/3/79 Greensboro killings.

A community dialogue sponsored by the Truth & Reconciliation Commission will be held on Saturday at Mt. Zion Baptist Church on Alamance Church Rd. This is the thing the Mayor said he might attend.

Previous coverage  here, herehere, herehere, here, here, herehere, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

6:42:27 AM   permalink   comment []

  Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Wireless Internet service coming to South Elm St.

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It's not blogging if you don't blog. Bruce Davis started a site -- or had one started for him -- and even got some publicity in the newspaper. It's got to be organic and user-driven if it's going to work.

This happened with Yvonne Johnson, too.

3:54:44 PM   permalink   comment []

Thoughtcrimes reads the News & Record.

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Blue NC is a progressive blog based in the Triangle. They're looking for good bloggers from elsewhere in this great state, too.

Interesting stuff about Liddy Dole and Sue Myrick.

1:56:52 PM   permalink   comment []

Luna and I walked down to Fincastle's, where a friend prevailed upon me to try the fried pickles. They are remarkably good.

1:42:47 PM   permalink   comment []

This morning, the cook served poached eggs. The children were most appreciative. Is there a finer method of egg preparation? I think not.

8:39:17 AM   permalink   comment []

Josh Marshall: The Italian Connection, Part II

In which we follow the (alleged) path of the forged documents from an Italian intelligence officer to the press...

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DarkTimes: Dowd says Scooter's replacements are "not an improvement." One, David Addington, she describes as "an ideologue who is so fanatically secretive, so in love with the shadows, so belligerent and unyielding that he's known around town as the Keyser Soze of the usual suspects." Another, John Hannah, "was the contact for Ahmad Chalabi, who went around the C.I.A. to feed Vice's office the baloney intel and rosy scenarios that suckered the U.S. into war."

The column, headlined "Chain, Chain, Chain of Cheney Fools," argues that the Bush administration is self-destructively insular in its personnel choices. "This is not loyalty. This is myopia. Where is a meddling, power-intoxicated first lady when we need one?"

Friedman ("China's Little Green Book") bangs the environmental drum yet again. "In China, conservation is not a 'personal virtue,' as Dick Cheney would say. Today it is a necessity. It was so polluted in Beijing the other day you could not make out buildings six blocks away. That's the bad news. Here's the good news: China's leaders and business community know it. They know that as China grows more prosperous, and more Chinese buy homes and cars, it must urgently adopt green technologies; otherwise, it will destroy its environment and its people. Green technology will decide whether China continues on its current growth path or chokes itself to death. So green innovation is starting to mushroom in China."

8:21:13 AM   permalink   comment []

Quelle connerie a Paris.

8:11:39 AM   permalink   comment []

  Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Hardball in the Senate. Mabye Libby's indictment wasn't quite the end of this thing, huh?

5:50:03 PM   permalink   comment []

At 7:48 this morning I posted about a possible nuclear plant at Belews Creek, noting that I had some concerns about it.

At 3:03 this afternoon I got an email from Eric McErlain, who blogs for the Nuclear Energy Institute, a trade association for the nuclear industry. Eric offers to answer specific questions, so if you have some questions or concerns, email them to me or leave a comment below, and I'll send them along.

Update: Emily Litella says, Never Mind.

3:25:20 PM   permalink   comment []

OK, I'm almost dug out from the post-ConvergeSouth pileup. Finished two features for the day job. Nearly done with a newspaper column. Now I just need to file expenses for the conference and for work, make some overdue fundraising calls for a volunteer job, finish setting up my new TypePad blog before the free trial expires, edit Dan Gillmor's ZD column, write a speech that I'm supposed to deliver Monday night, get serious about my next feature for the day job, begin an intense round of interviews for a search committee I'm on, finish an op-ed submission I've had in mind for six months...hmm, maybe I'm not through digging.

1:49:15 PM   permalink   comment []

DarkTimes: Kristof ("What Did Cheney Know, and When Did He Know It?") calls on Cheney to quit if he won't talk about the Plame case.

"A federal indictment charges that criminality swirled around your office, and it demeans this administration and the entire country when you hide in your bunker and refuse to say whether you knew of any such activities."

Kicker: "If you're afraid to say what you knew, and when you knew it, then you should resign."

Tierney tries to laugh the whole thing off with an awards presentation ("Let's Have a Big Hand For..."). Scooter is a big big liar. But Scooter is such a funny name! Wilson: bad. Plame: Not so secret agent. Etc.

8:20:16 AM   permalink   comment []

A nice article by Jim Schlosser in this morning's N&R about Ed Loewenstein and his legacy of modern architecture.

One of his hidden gems is the house he designed for my grandparents on Rockford Road, one of the earliest built in Browntown; more traditional than his own home or the one he designed for Leah and Jack Tannenbaum, but beautiful and unique. How fortunate that Greensboro uncharacteristically failed to tear down the old library he built, which will now house the Elon law school.

My sister and I spent a lot of happy hours at Franny and Ed's house as kids. I remember him practicing for a spear-fishing trip in his pool -- how cool is that when you're six?

Good to see his work getting the respect it deserves.

8:09:58 AM   permalink   comment []

N&R: Nuclear site a possibility near Triad.

I'm not opposed to nuclear power, but I'll probably yell NIMBY if Duke Power tries to put a nuke plant on Belews Creek.

7:48:29 AM   permalink   comment []

  Monday, October 31, 2005

Josh Marshall: The Italian Connection.

Wilson went to Niger to investigate reports that Saddam was buying uranium. The reports were based on forged documents. Who created the forgeries?

3:53:08 PM   permalink   comment []

I am having a problem with NC State football and today I was able to talk about it with a State alum and talking about it made me feel better.

My problem is that I have come to enjoy State losing football games more than I enjoy other people winning football games. I know this is not healthy. I know it is not right.

It wasn't always this way. At first, I enjoyed the Amato era. I liked Philip Rivers.

But then State fans got confused about Amato's mission. He was hired to lead the program to national prominence, but State fans seemed to decide that hiring Amato was in and of itself enough to make the program nationally prominent. They started talking like Amato was going to lead them back to a place they deserved to be, rather than elevating them to new heights.

They forgot to get good before they started breaking bad. And that changed me, for the worse.

Of course I was happy when Carolina beat them, again, this year. But after that it got a little twisted. My glee after the Clemson and Wake games was unseemly.

When I found myself rooting hard for Southern Mississippi to beat a North Carolina school on Saturday, I realized I was in too deep.

Why do I care if State fans burden themselves and their team with high expectations? It's not my problem.

I have problems of my own. And I'm trying to get rid of this one.

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DarkTimes: Krugman ("Ending the Fraudulence") says Bush has been exposed as incompetent and out of touch. "It sometimes seems as if President Bush and Mr. Cheney are Midases in reverse: everything they touch -- from Iraq reconstruction to hurricane relief, from prescription drug coverage to the pursuit of Osama -- turns to crud...

"Pundits may try to resurrect Mr. Bush's reputation, but his cult of personality is dead...So the Bush administration has lost the myths that sustained its mojo, and with them much of its power to do harm. But the nightmare won't be fully over until two things happen.

"First, politicians will have to admit that they were misled. Second, the news media will have to face up to their role in allowing incompetents to pose as leaders and political apparatchiks to pose as patriots."

Herbert ("Smoke Gets in Our Eyes") continues the attack: "Most members of the administration are more artful than Scooter Libby when they send out the smoke that is designed to hide the truth on important matters...The art of Bush-speak is to achieve the effect of a lie without actually getting caught in a lie...This is an insidious way of governing, and the opposite of what the United States should be about."

9:04:45 AM   permalink   comment []

Why doesn't the media report on all the good news about rebuilding Iraq?

One reason: much of the news about rebuilding Iraq is not very good. 

According to the special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction, the rebuilding effort is almost out of money, with many projects unfinished and no means of funding operations for some that are done. We're spending a quarter of the budget on security, and losing more money to scams.

Here's how the Wall Street Journal puts it: "The ambitious U.S. reconstruction effort in Iraq is likely to fall far short of its goals...The report by the special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction, Stuart W. Bowen Jr., paints a grim picture of the violence, corruption and incompetence plaguing the rebuilding effort. Foreign contractor deaths increased more than 70% in recent months, mainly because of terrorism, while tens of millions of dollars in U.S. taxpayer money appears to have been lost as a result of poor oversight and outright criminality."

The NYT reports that the US government has a rosier outlook than the independent auditor, but notes that some projects claimed as successes may be less than successful. For example, "The five electrical substations examined by the inspector general's office...were built in southern Iraq at a cost of $28.8 million. 'The completed substations were found to be well planned, well designed and well constructed,' the report says. Unfortunately, the system for distributing power from the completed substations was largely nonexistent.

"'No date for installing the distribution system was given,' the report says."

Damn liberal media, reporting on the independent auditor's findings instead of all the good news that isn't in the independent auditor's findings.

8:36:42 AM   permalink   comment []

Grim days for the newspaper business. Dan Rubin on the forced exodus of talent from the Philadelphia Inquirer: You could put out the best newspaper in America with the people we've helped walk out the door over the 17 years I've been here. I think we once did.

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  Sunday, October 30, 2005

I've been thinking about this Slate article by Jon Katz for a while now. I'm sure he's correct that it's wrong to anthropomorphize canine behavior and thought patterns. I've written myself that part of the greatness of dogs is that they are not people, and I don't disagree with the expert when he says "Dogs are not aware of time, even as a concept," or "these are primal, predatory animals driven by instinct."

But even discounting for human projection, I think there's something going on inside those panting heads that binds us close to our dogs. Maybe a productive way to look at it is not just elevating the thoughts and actions of the dog, but understanding that our own thoughts and actions are rooted in our own animal natures. Our fear, anger, joy, lust, etc. may be overlayed with rational thought and self-awareness, but aren't they at least to some degree primal and instinct-driven?

Let's face it, humans can analyze and explain their behavior, but a lot of what we do is driven by non-intellectual factors like hormones and instinct, with an overlay of consciousness that sometimes seems almost an afterthought. Maybe a productive way of looking at dogs is less that they are like us than we are like them.

Read this description by Katz: "Nothing seems to make them more comfortable than doing the same thing at the same time in the familiar way, day after day: We snack here, we poop there, we play over here. I am astonished at how little it takes to please them, how simple their lives can be if we don't complicate them."

Now ask yourself if he's describing dogs or your college roommates.

3:34:18 PM   permalink   comment []

Everybody quoted in this NYT Week in Review piece seems so confused about the tendency for DC insiders to commit perjury rather than just telling the truth. Here's one idea: telling the truth would cause enormous political damage, so lying and getting charged with perjury is a rational political calculation.

2:33:42 PM   permalink   comment []

David Boyd posts about 10 scary movies.

The scene in Nightmare on Elm Street where the kid shows up in class in a bodybag was brilliant. The insight that bodybags are to the modern imagination what scythe-wielding skeletons were to earlier generations was genius.

I saw Halloween on first run, at age 16 or so, with a theater full of noisy teenagers. We scoffed at the evil-can't-be-killed ending. I did not sleep for two weeks.

The Shining was more entertaining than horrifying, although those little girls were freaky. What really scared me was the conversation my girlfriend and I had with her mom afterwards. We went on about the movie until her mom, a twice-divorced faded Virginia aristocrat who would have been at home in a Tennessee Williams play, took a drag from her cigarette and a sip from her highball and told us that a certain point in life, the scary stuff isn't what happens in movies...That one still gives me chills.

10:01:50 AM   permalink   comment []

A look at Philadelphia's municipal wireless plan. Wiring -- wirelessing? -- downtown Greensboro from, say, Cone Hospital to Lee Street, and A&T to UNC-G, would be a lot cheaper than the big Philly plan. And funding from, say, a group of foundations would bypass the political fight around public financing...

Update: Ben Hwang, who actually knows something about this stuff, responds. I agree that we should be looking ahead on the tech front -- notice I did not use the name "WiFi" in my post" -- and corporate involvement would be great. But Action Greensboro is a natural sparkplug for the effort. An example: Why not get AG to fund the intitial infrastructure, and get corporate support to pay the connectivity bills? I am aware of the plan to light up Elm Street, but I think that we need a bigger vision.

9:46:26 AM   permalink   comment []

Also in the Times, a podcasting primer with quotes from Lisa Williams, Dave, and Doug Kaye.

9:41:41 AM   permalink   comment []

DarkTimes a daily roundup of the hidden matter in the NYT opinion universe.

Brooks goes all disingenuous on us with "The Prosecutor's Diagnosis: No Cancer Found."

Nothing else to see here, move along. "Over the past few weeks, oceans of ink and an infinity of airtime have been devoted to theorizing about Rove's conspiratorial genius and general culpability -- almost all of it hokum. Leading Democratic politicians filled the air with grand conspiracy theories that would be at home in the John Birch Society."

He just cannot understand why anyone thinks there might be more to the Plame story than we already he trots out Hofstadter's "The Paranoid Style in American Politics," and offers this: "It is never enough to believe their opponents have committed honest mistakes or have legitimate purposes' they insist on believing in malicious conspiracies." Yeah, that must be it.

Rich goes in the opposite direction in a piece called "One Step Closer to the Big Enchilada." Lede: "To believe that the Bush-Cheney scandals will be behind us anytime soon you'd have to believe that the Nixon-Agnew scandals peaked when G. Gordon Liddy and his bumbling band were nailed for the Watergate break-in."

More: "The coming prosecution of Lewis (Scooter) Libby in the Wilson affair is hardly the end of the story. That 'Cheney's Cheney,' as Mr. Libby is known, would allegedly go to such lengths to obscure his role in punishing a man who challenged the administration's W.M.D. propaganda is just one very big window into the genesis of the smoke screen (or, more accurately, mushroom cloud) that the White House used to sell the war in Iraq."

And playing the role of Baby Bear in this Goldilocks story is Kristof, who ledes with an admission that he was wrong to compare Fitzgerald to Javert, says Democrats should not be happy because "This is a humiliation for the entire country," and then gets to the point made in the headline: "Time for the Vice President to Explain Himself." He also says Bush should "clean house...It's fine for Mr. Rove to work as a Republican political adviser, but not as White House deputy chief of staff."

Kicker: "He quotes Cheney from 2000 saying it was time to restore honor to the White House, and says, "You were right, Mr. Cheney, in your insistence that the White House be beyond reproach. Now it's time for you to give the nation 'a stiff dose of truth.' Otherwise, you sully this country with your own legalisms."

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