Posts from March 21, 2005

Demand Google News transparency

Demand Google News transparency

: We’re demanding transparency of mainstream news.

Well, it’s high time we get transparency from GoogleNews.

Instapundit and LGF point to a nazi site — complete with “love your race” graphics — that is part of Google News, while mainstream sane blogs are not.


Google: Release a complete list of your news sources now. And institute a means for questioning those choices and for suggesting other choices now.

Google: It’s bad enough that you won’t share information about ad revenue sharing. But not to share information about your means of selecting news sources is inexecusable… in this case, evil.

: UPDATE: Roger L Simon killed Google ads for two reasons.

The scariest thing about this…

The scariest thing about this…

: … is that instead of waking up to music or a buzzer like a normal person, Matthew Yglesias wakes up to politics. So he does, indeed, eat, sleep, and dream this stuff.

: Meanwhile, David Weinberger needs more sleep.

The illusory political appeal of the Schiavo case

The illusory political appeal of the Schiavo case

: An ABC poll shows strong opposition to Congressional and Presidential interference in the Schiavo case:

The public, by 63 percent-28 percent, supports the removal of Schiavo’s feeding tube, and by a 25-point margin opposes a law mandating federal review of her case. Congress passed such legislation and President Bush signed it early today.

That legislative action is distinctly unpopular: Not only do 60 percent oppose it, more ó 70 percent ó call it inappropriate for Congress to get involved in this way. And by a lopsided 67 percent-19 percent, most think the elected officials trying to keep Schiavo alive are doing so more for political advantage than out of concern for her or for the principles involved.

This ABC News poll also finds that the Schiavo case has prompted an enormous level of personal discussion: Half of Americans say that as a direct result of hearing about this case, they’ve spoken with friends or family members about what they’d want done if they were in a similar condition. Nearly eight in 10 would not want to be kept alive.

In addition to the majority, the intensity of public sentiment is also on the side of Schiavo’s husband, who has fought successfully in the Florida courts to remove her feeding tube. And intensity runs especially strongly against congressional involvement.

Included among the 63 percent who support removing the feeding tube are 42 percent who “strongly” support it ó twice as many as strongly oppose it. And among the 70 percent who call congressional intervention inappropriate are 58 percent who hold that view strongly ó an especially high level of strong opinion.

Views on this issue are informed more by ideological and religious views than by political partisanship. Republicans overall look much like Democrats and independents in their opinions.

But two core Republican groups ó conservatives and evangelical Protestants ó are more divided: Fifty-four percent of conservatives support removal of Schiavo’s feeding tube, compared with seven in 10 moderates and liberals. And evangelical Protestants divide about evenly ó 46 percent are in favor of removing the tube, 44 percent opposed. Among non-evangelical Protestants, 77 percent are in favor ó a huge division between evangelical and mainline Protestants.

Conservatives and evangelicals also are more likely to support federal intervention in the case, although it doesn’t reach a majority in either group. Indeed, conservative Republicans oppose involving the federal courts, by 57 percent-41 percent.

[via Joe Gandelman]

Turning the tide in Iraq

Turning the tide in Iraq

: Note well that The New York Times noted on its front page a tide turning against the insurgents in Iraq. John Burns writes:

In the first 18 months of the fighting, the insurgents mostly outmaneuvered the Americans along Haifa Street, showing they could carry the war to the capital’s core with something approaching impunity.

But American officers say there have been signs that the tide may be shifting. On Haifa Street, at least, insurgents are attacking in smaller numbers, and with less intensity; mortar attacks into the Green Zone have diminished sharply; major raids have uncovered large weapons caches; and some rebel leaders have been arrested or killed.

American military engineers, frustrated elsewhere by insurgent attacks, are moving ahead along Haifa Street with a $20 million program to improve electricity, sewer and other utilities. So far, none of the work sites have been attacked, although a local Shiite leader who vocally supported the American projects was assassinated on his doorstep in January.

But the change American commanders see as more promising than any other here is the deployment of large numbers of Iraqi troops.

The story is well-reported, getting down to details of tactics fighting insurgents in this one place.

But this is a trend we’ve been hearing elsewhere. Last week on MSNBC, the military analyst made a convincing case with numbers for the declining activities of the insurgents.



: USA Today features the blog segment on CNN’s Inside Politics and that’s good. I’m delighted that CNN has given bloging a regular berth on the air. And let’s also note that Jon Klein, the head of the network, does, indeed, like and respect blogs.

I think they also should have noted the constant blog segments on MSNBC since last year — now aggressively presented on Connected — plus blog-happy TV personalities such as CNBC’s Larry Kudlow.

It’s odd, by the way, that Fox is not a leader in blogs. They were early on — online. Remember that Glenn Reynolds blogged for them until the internal booster left and he switched to You’d think that blogs would be perfect for Fox: independent (and, yes, often conservative) voices and inexpensive programming; a great fit.

: MORE: Andrew Tyndall adds in the comments:

Fox News Channel made news last year in all the publicity around Outfoxed about how disciplined its top-down message-of-the-day operation was at presenting a unified line across all dayparts. Although I personally was not as outraged as others about the instructions for framing stories that those memos contained, they were certainly no evidence of love for “independence” at FNC. A diverse panel of independent bloggers would be anathema to FNC’s renowned message discipline.

More Schiavo

More Schiavo

: See Mark Kleiman on the irony of other cases involving the Texas Futile Care Law signed by Gov. George W. Bush himself.

: Matthew Yglesias sends us to a good post by Rivka on the medical claims in the case; see another on the ethical issues. And Rivka recommends a post by Hilzoy, which includes a picture of a scan of Terri Schiavo’s brain.

: Barbara O’Brien says (relevant to the economic points I made below):

We need a list of politicians and commentators, including bloggers, who have been calling for cuts in Medicaid but who now have joined in the “save Terri Schiavo” cult. These people need to be challenged to take her off Medicaid and pay for her maintenance themselves.

[via Kevin Drum]

: My views today here.

: Below, I said that the connection would not be made between this case and the death penalty. But right now on MSNBC’s Connected, Sister Helen Prejean talks about the Catholic church coming out strongly against the death penalty.



: Joe Territo makes a very good suggestion: podcasts of congressional debate.

A soldier’s tales

A soldier’s tales

: Just got email sending me to a pretty amazing blog by a soldier in Baghdad. I now see that the email came from that soldier. Glad he sent it. Just to take one post as an example, the bloggers writes about helping a soldier under his command with an SAT question and the soldier comes back in later to ask an uncomfortable question:

What SPC Frances said as he sheepishly stood before my desk staring at the floor was ìSir, youíre like, ummmm, you know, really smart. And youíre doing this when you could ummmm, you know, so many other things. Donít you wish you were, ummm doing something better?î.

The question is one Iíve heard from several well meaning individuals, but never, ever from a soldier…. The first deadly lie is that soldiers are stupid. The second is that the Army is a dumping ground for people with no other options….

…I told him about how part of my heart chipped off when I looked into a mass grave in Bosnia. How for days after my dreams were clouded with an image of the very earth opening a yawning pit to engulf the dead, only to choke on their numbers and leave them on the surface half swallowed…. And the story that did not need telling, the story of our ongoing struggle with insurgents who revel in the misery and deaths they cause our forces and the Iraqis.

…I told SPC Frances to close his eyes and I would tell him why. As he closed his eyes I told him to imagine his young wife, his beautiful infant daughter and the future he wanted for them. He paused a moment and a smile slowly creased his face. As he looked up I caught his eyes and told him a simple truth. I told him that the thin line that separates the two realities isnít a line on a map or the signature block on a document filled with hollow proclamations. The dividing line between the two kingdoms is a long line of soldiers. And that is why Iím proud to call myself a soldier. Its not about a lack of options, or the size of my paycheck. Its about what kind of world I want to leave for my children if I am lucky enough to be a father.