on the fly vs fly on the wall

Scott is right, of course.  The blogging community functions more like a sawed off shotgun than one of these, even when we’re dealing with topics that are undoubtedly long range.  Some pieces might hit the mark, but a lot of them won’t.  Nevertheless, there is something good and valuable to this sort of approach that…

a quote for a cloudy summer morning

“Moussavi passed through this system of ideological control; he’s no radical reformer. But what’s happened is that simply by representing an alternative, Moussavi became a vehicle for the expression of the hopes of people who are far more radical in their reformist attitudes than anyone in the dominant power structure. Even though the players in…

…I was a Flower of the mountain

yes when I put the rose in my hair like the Andalusian girls used or shall I wear a red yes and how he kissed me under the Moorish wall and I thought well as well him as another and then I asked him with my eyes to ask again yes and then he asked…

Some Real “F”ers

Andrew Sullivan posts this video:  Violence Warning.   Sullivan is creating a series (more here, here, and here).  Second warning–the last link in that series is particularly horrific.  I’ll simply link to them but not post any of them. The comment Andrew makes concerning these videos is:  This is Fascism.  Fascism incarnate, live and in the…

good theology

So a while back I posted on the art of magic in fiction.  I asked readers what they recommended for some good fantasy reads, and the result was a pretty long list of suggestions, and an offshoot list from Will.  Not bloody bad, if I do say so myself.  So now I’m returning to the…

twitter

Here’s a good resource for Iran-related twitter updates/photos etc.  Right now, lots of tweets asking Twitter not to shut down for maintenance tonight.  Let’s see if new media management is as responsive as the technology they created….

the big picture

The Big Picture has some amazing, startling photos up on the protests.  Momentum is building.  This is certainly not just any protest.  This is game-changing.  I remain optimistic.

yes but why so blatantly?

There’s a fairly wide consensus building that the Iranian election results were fraudulent.  Much speculation exists regarding the who, why, etc.  John Holbo wonders why the apparent fraud was so crudely done.  It’s a good question.  Why not make the results more believable?

what’s next

It has to be said: we are probably not going to see a democratic revolution in Iran. There is every reason to believe Ahmadinejad will remain in power in the near future. That wouldn’t mean that the current activity is useless or unproductive. But it leads, I suspect, in a terrible direction. This civic unrest…

Blame Congress

So here’s Bill Maher doing this thing and directing it at Obama.  I think it’s good that Obama get some real criticism from his left, but still I just have to my roll my eyes on this one. Particularly with the whole “this isn’t what I voted for” schpeel.  Bill Maher should have done his…

Sunday Poetry Series

El Hombre by William Carlos Williams It’s a strange courage you give me ancient star: Shine alone in the sunrise toward which you lend no part! Nuances of a Theme by Williams by Wallace Stevens i Shine alone, shine nakedly, shine like bronze, that reflects neither my face nor any inner part of my being,…

plea for the green

Please, please let this often well-meaning but always clumsy democracy have the wisdom and the foresight to show restraint, to have the deft touch we have so often lacked. Please. Iran has many, many people who are desperate for democracy, who are progressive, who believe in the liberal tradition, who want to reduce the role…

co-ops, socialized medicine, and deregulation

Ezra Klein has an interview up with Senator Kent Conrad of North Dakota. In it they discuss the Senator’s health care reform proposal to implement federally chartered, non-profit cooperatives to compete against private insurers.  Now, when it comes to most-things-co-operative – small farmers, brewers, natural health food stores, bookstores etc. – I am typically a…

conservatives for socialized medicine?

I still think taking the health care debate out of politics would be good for conservatism in the long run, even if it did mean one more government entitlement.  Then again, I think the real thing to fear from government isn’t welfare services but the rise of a police state of some form or other,…

Making Sense

Partially dissenting from the Paul Krugman column on right-wing hatred, Jon Henke makes some good points about guilt-by-right-or-left-association charges in general.  He concludes with “two ironies” that are pretty relevant: The Left strenuously objects to connecting President Obama to socialists and William Ayers; meanwhile, they want to lump all conservatives in with militant radicals.    Meanwhile,…

A Couple of Thoughts On Executive Pay

Via Politico: Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said Wednesday that the Obama administration will take several new steps to reform the ways executives are paid on Wall Street — and he argued that pay packages were partly to blame for the epic Wall Street crash of 2008. “There were clearly some areas of compensation that contributed…

the big hate

Paul Krugman worries about the main-streaming of ultra-right-wing nuttery vis-a-vis the likes of Glenn Beck.  I mentioned this a while back actually.  Things will get worse before they get better.

Free Advice to Released Uighurs

If you are headed to Palau–where I spent 1 week of my life, 3 days of which was in a small to medium range typhoon, 2 other days of which I spent on the can–good luck.  It’s a beautiful place.  The people are also beautiful (especially the women) but tend to be a bit cold…

bringing schools back into our communities

Setting aside the voucher debate for a minute – because Kyle is right, to some degree it can’t hurt to at least try these various ideas out – I’d like to visit briefly the concept of the school itself as an essential part of one’s community.  Because it seems to me that the “public” school…

Elaboration on Vouchers

Kyle at Vogue Republic gets what I was trying to do with my post on vouchers the other day, even though he admits to being “lukewarm” on the value of vouchers.  The whole post is fantastic and he takes my arguments to a higher level while adding a bunch of his own good thoughts and…