Open Thread

I’m on my way to give a talk at Thursday’s annual conference of the UK Association of Online Publishers, so no postings for the next few hours.

Talk below. Please behave, and don’t feed the troll.


Posted by: on October 19, 2004 03:45 PM


What’s there to troll about when, on the cusp of the two most dramatic weeks in American political history, Dan Gillmor has nothing to say?


Posted by: Stephen Downes on October 19, 2004 04:04 PM

What’s wrong with feeding the troll? 😉

Posted by: on October 19, 2004 05:53 PM

Better than simply trolling on the bridge, read what Arthur Schlesinger has to say about the U-S-A waging “pre-emptive” versus “preventive” wars:

Posted by: on October 19, 2004 07:10 PM

Thanks, Step. Really nice summary. Schlesinger’s writing skill is condensed and beautiful as an old Chinese drawing master’s.

Posted by: on October 19, 2004 08:27 PM

Empty headed liberal tripe, by the architect of so much disasterous policy of the 1960s that lead, ultimately, to the Democrats disasterous Vietnam conflict and buildup, under their leadership, to a force of over half a million American troops.

His guilt and remorse is now, it seems, worn on his sleeve — for so many lives lossed senselessly in Southeast Asia (given our hasty withdrawal and the failure of the Democrats to authorize air support for the South Vietnamese after the Kerry-approved peace accords).

Millions of Vietnamese and many millions more in neighboring Cambodia died after our withdrawal, and the blood is on the hands of John F. Kennedy’s braintrust, including Schlesinger, that launched the exercise so wrongly and half-heartedly.

He shows the same disingenous use of language, frankly, as George W. Bush in the 2000 debates, when he said he supports “affirmative access”, instead of proclaiming outright his opposition to affirmative action, the remaining barrier to a color-blind society imposed by racist, socialist levelers on the Left.

Schlesinger and Kerry both support as near an immediate and ignomious withdrawal from Iraq as you could possibly imagine. Their burden of proof for U.S. use-of-force abroad does NOT, most certainly does NOT permit this country to take the fight to the terrorists.

When another U.S. city is hit with another weapon of mass destruction (the airplane impact and explosion delivered the equivalent of a tactical nuclear warhead into the World Trade Centers), a President Kerry would convene the UN Security Council, and engage in months of deliberation.

Under Kerry, Saddam would not only still be in power, he’d hold dominion over Kuwait *and* Saudi Arabia, which was his objective in 1990 when Kerry voted against the most complete international coalition in modern times to repel Saddam.

Let’s send Kerry back to Massachussetts. I’ll be looking for him on the syllabus as an instructor for the Kennedy School of Government in 2006.

Posted by: on October 19, 2004 09:55 PM

Open thread?
Okay I am game.

I’ve been sort of following this podcasting storm.
It is really very interesting.

It appears to be happening at a bittorrent rate (a phrase which I suggest should mean exponential^exponential).

I’d like to ask a question:

Could the same thing be done for television what is being done for radio?

That is: pushing selective video content onto hand held devices?

If so…

Shouldn’t Jobs rethink his ideas about a video enabled ipod?


Posted by: on October 20, 2004 03:51 AM

Dan Gillmor,

Your comments about the Bush ‘bulge’ story are not addressing the issue. Arent you interested in the truth?

Changing debate rules? What? Isn’t whether he was a cheater more important RIGHT NOW???

Posted by: on October 20, 2004 05:46 AM

Thanks again, Step. Read it again.

I love the way this classic American liberal develops his case in a measured, careful way, taking us with him as he defines “pre-emptive” and “preventive,” pausing on the way to rebuke Condoleeza Rice for her misunderstanding of Daniel Webster’s statement, and applying the terms he has defined to Iraq and America’s role in the modern world. And then the end, the quote from John Quincy Adams that America might become the “dictatress” of the world, and the last line, “That is the significance, for America and the world, of the American presidential election.”

His essay, I see, was written for the English readership of the Guardian. No Bushite could come close to this clear, beautiful essay that expresses in its very style the best of America. Compared to it, the Bushite thinking is ugly and overbearing. American liberals can speak abroad and be respected; the right wingers, no.
I’ve experienced proof of it tima and again as a Canadian. Richard Perle, for example, was broadcast a while ago in Canada, and his sulkiness and petulance were astoundingly ugly. The open expression of contempt may be admired in the US, but I doubt if us foreigners will accept it gladly.

I note with amusement how Perle is personally making out so well with US defence with the sale of a digital security company called Digital Net to a British company. He got a $2.5 million payment (for brokering deals, I think) that shareholders were so upset about that his cronies paid him. The Bushies may not have any lasting ideas about foreign or defence policy, and they certainly can’t express them, but I am sure they know how to line their pockets.

Posted by: on October 20, 2004 06:32 AM

I’ve noticed the same thing. When I was younger I used to hear such clear and interesting conservative arguments. There was a lot of reason and common sense built in. Now, geez, the really good conservatives seemed to be drowned out by all this fear mongering.

I literally cannot remember the last time I heard a conservative argument that did not basically boil down to: “Let me sell you this fear.” I’m not afraid of terrorists, I’m not afraid of the poor getting too much government money or of corporate America being crushed under the boot of a socialist liberal government.

If you don’t buy those fears and you want some more substantial arguments, there’s nothing out there. It’s kind of sad.

Posted by: on October 20, 2004 08:54 AM

That’s why many old-line conservatives (like me) are abandoning the neoconish/Bushist party in favor of anybody with a modicum of common sense, civic responsibility and vision. The MBA
short-term, case-study bottom line mentality I saw in B-school is corrupting the party as it has business.

Posted by: Janet on October 20, 2004 09:18 AM

Here’s what you can do while Dan is away-

Offshoring: Solutions for the Silicon Valley Worker

Admission is FREE! Seating is limited! RSVP:

Thursday, October 21st, 2004

5:30 – 6:00PM – Registration & Networking
6:00 – 8:30PM – Panel Forum

Quinlan Community Center,
10185 N. Stelling, Cupertino, CA 95014

The event will explore offshoring and the solutions for the Silicon Valley worker. Panelists from a broad range of offshoring experiences, cultures, and industries will delve into the many aspects of offshoring and provide new insights for the Silicon Valley worker. Panelists include: University of Phoenix, Accelerance, Broadvision, Career Transitions Unlimited, SupplyLogic and others.

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Posted by: Don Crede on October 20, 2004 11:30 AM

I tried to post an opinion which was rejected because the site deemed the material of questionable content. I posted it at location
Can anybody tell me why it was questionable.


Posted by: on October 20, 2004 12:21 PM


There are certain character strings which Dan’s site automatically rejects. It tells you what the questionable string (content) is when it rejects your posting.

You will have to try various alterations until you get through the auto-censor.

For example, do not insert the 3 char intials for this country: u-s-a

Posted by: adamsj on October 20, 2004 12:22 PM

Bob M., craig,

This is what, oddly enough, cheers me when I listen to modern right-wingers: They are out of both reasons and reason. If they don’t (or haven’t) screw things up beyond repair, they’re toast, and the misery of getting to the toasting point was maybe worth it, for the people who didn’t die already. (It amazes me that I still tear up when I hear or read pieces on young dead soldiers, but I do.)

Posted by: Don Crede on October 20, 2004 04:45 PM

Thanks “step back”,

The rejection message did in fact show three letters following a colon. I changed a word containing those three letters to “charges” and it posted OK on the next thread, where it is more appropriate. The three letters were u-s-a and the original word was “acc—sations.” It does seem odd to reject that word. I appreciated the information.

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