In addition to correcting errors, however, I have questions I've never yet seen answered satisfactorily.
Even if outsourcing cost Americans a few bucks upfront - might not the benefits outweight them anyway? Isn't our country more secure in a world where other countries have larger middle classes - due to decent jobs? Why do liberals rail about sky high CEO compensation in this country (a topic on which I, for the most part, agree with them wholeheartedly) - but the plight of poor workers in other nations leaves them cold? And, of course, won't most of these workers from other nations buy at least some of our products and services if they have the means to do so?
(And while you are at Sean's site, you can see why I missed my calling as a professor of grammar - thanks for the mention, Sean!)
Recent posts on what if? highlight the folly of those who think they have a monopoly on the news - or the truth. A friend and bridge partner, Murray Appelbaum, kindly sent me this column from St. Paul's Pioneer Press which details just how wrong the "experts" can be. The author, Craig Westover, also chronicles what can happen to those who write off what the "novices" are doing.
Many have commented on the infamous CBS report on President Bush's National Guard service, both in the mainstream media and in the blogosphere — that diverse Internet community "open to anyone with a modem and some opinions." None mentioned Theodore Levitt.
Levitt authored the classic Harvard Business Review article "Marketing Myopia," which challenged organizations with the question "What business are you in?" He contended that by maintaining a myopic focus on products rather than customers, a business risked losing growth opportunities and ultimately obsolescence.
So what has a marketing wonk got to do with an overzealous CBS News anchor, a blogger "sitting in his living room in his pajamas writing what he thinks" and you and I getting the daily news? As much as two bicycle mechanics from Dayton, Ohio, had to do with the demise of American railroads — a lot.
(Craig thoughtfully sent me the link to his website, so you can enjoy all the links which he uses to back up his assertions. Needless to say, these are not in the Pioneer Press - ahem!)
It isn't the Patriot Act at all. Is it too much to ask that when the mainstream media reports on court decisions that they properly identify the law that is struck down and the Administration that is rebuked? Apparently it is, at least if the Thursday morning papers are any guide.
As I noted in my post below, a recent decision of the Southern District of New York struck down part of a 1986 law known as the Electronic Communications Privacy Act. How does the press report the decision? No mention of the 1986 law, of course. Instead, the press is reporting that the court struck down a major part of the Patriot Act, in a blow to the Bush Administration's overzealous response to terrorism. As I trace the history of the statute, this is quite inaccurate: the basic law was implemented in 1986, almost 20 years ago. To be fair, the Patriot Act did amend some language in this section; just not in a relevant way. As best I can tell, the court's decision does not rely on or even address anything in the Patriot Act.
But of course you don't get that from the mainstream press, which likes to report everything related to terorrism as if it were the Patriot Act.a
Many readers may consider the identity of the law at issue as a minor point; after all, the important thing is that the law was struck down, not whether it was a 1986 law or a 2001 law that was at issue. But I think the label matters, actually, and that it matters a lot: the mainstream media has created a monster called the Patriot Act that has millions of Americans terribly worried about the government in general and the Bush Administration in particular. The early reports are trying to view this ruling as a rebuke to antiterrorism strategies of the Bush Administration, but that's just not accurate: if anything, it is a rebuke to the antiterrorism strategies of the Reagan Administration.
But Ronald Reagan isn't running for office now. Ahem.
Did you see the big headline or watch the top-of-the-newscast story about the success of our sons and daughters in Samarra, Iraq?
Of course, you didn't.
I found mention deep in stories from The Christian Science Monitor and The Associated Press. But it took e-mails from Marine officers in Iraq to relay the importance of this positive news — so I could tell you.
It shouldn't be this way. Yet journalism in America is broken. It has no foundation of values by which many Americans can relate and depend. The moral of this column is not about one side prevailing in news coverage on the war on terror. It's simply about fairness — about Americans getting both sides with the same prominence.
They're not. And media emphasis on Iraq being in chaos has coincided with John Kerry making the same pitch to voters. It makes you wonder, just as we did on the authenticity of Dan Rather's reporting. And now America knows about Rather's ruse.
Alphonso Jackson understands that people improve their lives one day at a time - one person at a time.
The HUD secretary said he has advised President Bush campaign to focus its efforts on younger blacks who did not grow up during the civil rights era because older blacks who did "have been conditioned" to vote Democratic by Jesse Jackson, NAACP Chairman Julian Bond, NAACP President Kweisi Mfume and others.
"They have made a living telling black people they are victims," the HUD secretary said in an interview with The Associated Press. "As long as they keep them in victim mode, they have liberals who will take care of them."
"You can't rise as a class. You have to rise individually. It's what many of the civil rights-era people don't understand," he said. "They want us to rise together, they keep telling us that we are victims. If they keep telling us they are victims, then there is a role for them to play."
Someone sent this to me in an email today. Powerful.
In 1971, I awakened after three days of unconsciousness aboard a hospital ship off the coast of Vietnam. I could not see, my jaws were wired shut, and my left cheekbone was missing, a gaping hole in its place.
Later, while still in that condition at St. Albans Naval Hospital, one of my earliest recollections was hearing of John Kerry's testimony before Congress. I remember lying there, in disbelief, as I learned how Kerry told the world that I served in an Army reminiscent of Genghis Khan's; that officers like me routinely let their men plunder villages and rape villagers at will; that "war crimes" committed in Vietnam by my fellow soldiers "were not isolated incidents, but crimes committed on a day-to-day basis, with the full awareness of officers at all levels of command."
Then, Kerry went to Paris, meeting with the North Vietnamese enemy officials, all while our soldiers still fought in the field. The pain and disbelief I felt listening to his words went deeper than the pain I felt from the enemy fire, which seriously wounded my face.
John Kerry is quick to surround himself with a handful of veterans, and claims overwhelming support from the veteran community. He ignores, however, the wounds he inflicted on millions of veterans, and he refuses to sign a waiver to release his military personalle records and medical records. This is the portrait of a man who has failed to comes to terms with his treacherous past.
I, Dexter Lehtinen, paid for this ad, personally, without any connection to other individuals or groups, because I want the public to know what John Kerry did to our Vietnam veterans.
Forget that they will now use these monies to purchase weapons and further their murderous cause. That is part of the "sour" - but really only the minor part.
The truly bitter part is that an action like paying ransom money teaches the terrorists a valuable lesson: kidnapping hostages and threatening their lives pays handsomely.
Am I saying that I wished that these women had been killed rather than released? Absolutely not.
But I am saying that the world must be resolute. We cannot give in to the demands of those who wish to destroy the rest of us. We cannot send the message that their evil acts will be met with fear and capitulation.
Unfortunately, that was exactly the message that was just sent.
As readers of my blog know, I have no affection for the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Indeed, if I did not need to read the paper for work, you would not find me among their subscribers. (I will say, however, that the paper is quite handy for carpeting the floors of Mr. Mollo, Keets and Shelly's cages.)
Today I read a column by Nick Coleman, a man who refuses to expand the boundaries of his small world, that ignorantly insults one of the finer bloggers in the blogosphere.
Coleman does not identify Power Line by name, but anyone familiar with the back and forth between the Strib and Power Line will be able to identify it. The insults to the rest of us are obvious!
Do bloggers have the credentials of real journalists? No. Bloggers are hobby hacks, the Internet version of the sad loners who used to listen to police radios in their bachelor apartments and think they were involved in the world.
Bloggers don't know about anything that happened before they sat down to share their every thought with the moon. Like graffiti artists, they tag the public square -- without editors, correction policies or community standards. And so their tripe is often as vicious as it is vacuous.
Last week, one fashionable Minnesota blogger -- a bank vice president who is getting a lot of ink and TV time lately -- posted a scurrilous piece about U.S. Sen. Mark Dayton, calling him, "Minnesota's contribution to the psychiatric profession."
Whoa. Maybe bank vice presidents never need counseling. But they sure must need more to do. This suddenly renowned bank vice president posted his ishy Dayton item at 10:30 a.m. on a weekday, making me wonder exactly what it is a bank vice president does.
Yep. Only journalists getting the big bucks from an important newspaper like the Strib can have access to facts and opinions that have any validity, right, Nick?
And while even factory workers get a break now and then, bank executives aren't allowed ten minutes to take the time to insert a thought into their blog - right, Nick?
And, I could be incorrect here, but I thought that Mark Dayton has admitted to having counseling due to his addiction difficulties. Personally, while I do not like to draw attention to an individual's private life and health, it seems that Power Line was only indicating that Dayton sometimes ventures into the "touchy-feely" aspect of politics. Anyone deny this? Seems to me that the truth is a defense.
I wish I could say that Nick Coleman is the only small minded individual at the Strib, the only one who thinks that you must get credentials before you can have access to the truth and reasonable opinion.
Unfortunately - Coleman is only one small part of a much larger problem.
Most of my life, I have been a committed agnostic. As a student of philosophy, I have studied arguments for and against the existence of God. Neither side has been able to confidently sway me to their side.
Thirty years ago this August, I had my own very close to death experience. A healthy, 22 year old graduate student at the University of Minnesota, I began to have some minor symptoms of something awry: low grade fever, and odd sites of infection here and there on my body. The university hospital checked me out, found nothing in particular, then told me to go home, rest and take aspirin.
As a freshman at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, my English honors professor (head of NOW in Wisconsin, don't ya know) mocked me because I said that there were differences between men and women beyond mere plumbing. "Peggy; you sound like Hugh Hefner," she sneered.
Beyond the tired cliches and sperm-and-egg basics taught in grade school science class, researchers are discovering that men and women are even more different than anyone realized.
It turns out that major illnesses like heart disease and lung cancer are influenced by gender and that perhaps treatments for women ought to be slightly different from the approach used for men.
These discoveries are part of a quiet but revolutionary change infiltrating U.S. medicine as a growing number of scientists realize there's more to women's health than just the anatomy that makes them female, and that the same diseases often affect men and women in different ways.
"Women are different than men, not only psychologically (but) physiologically, and I think we need to understand those differences," says Dr. Catherine DeAngelis, editor of the Journal of the American Medical Association.