November 12, 2011

$$4Israel: The nutcutting Q in GOP foreign policy debate

So, if Rick Perry, Newt Gingrich et al want to start our foreign aid budget at zero for ALL countries, does "all" include Israel? You know the answer, of course.

Scott Pelley asked a follow-up question to Newt about Egypt's post-Mubarak foreign aid receipts, but took a HUGE whiff in not asking the same question about Israel. Let's put that down to a mainstream media general failure to confront Zionism, even when it supports racism and even genocidal actions against Palestinians as a people.

Ahh, a Twitter respondent picked up on what Pelley missed. And, he asked Perry this first. I noticed that this didn't get much applause. Since Pelley said "no booing," I guess he couldn't get booed himself. Too bad Pelley didn't have time to ask others, like Batshit Bachmann, this question before the first hour of the debate ended.

In case you're missing this and other deathless prose, here's the link for tonight's GOP foreign policy debate. (Good thing there's no spelling test afterward; Perry trying to spell, say, "Xinjiang" could produce a new oops.

OK, Tricky Ricky Perry has also morphed into Sarah Palin. The "commander in chief" of Texas? No sir, you do NOT send Texas National Guard troops into combat; only the actual president of the U.S. does that.

Someone from our armed forces, a sailor on a carrier, asks the GOP presidential candidates the question that neither half of the bipartisan duopoly will face: "How do you stand on torture?"

Cain: "Enhanced interrogation."
Bachmann: "I will use waterboarding."
Paul: "Waterboarding is torture ... illegal under international law ... immoral ... and ineffective." He's a nutbar on both social and economic domestic policy, but he's far and away the best on foreign policy up there.
Huntsman: "We diminish our standing in the world ... when we torture. Waterboarding is torture. We dilute ourselves down like a whole lot of other countries."

And, Paul and Huntsman get booed.

Pelley then asks about the al-Awlaki execution by Obama. Both Romney and Gingrich avidly defend the president unilaterally deciding to kill an American citizen.

Mitt starts the hypocrisy on China parade, saying it's stealing our jobs, when venture capitalists like him pay for companies to kill U.S. jobs on China.

Beyond that big whiff on Israel, Tricky Ricky, and torture, I'll possibly update this blog later, but it's clear that, in general, all the candidates on the podium:
1. Will try to look hardline on Afghanistan while not actually signing blank checks;
2. Won't be asked to, and won't try to, explain why we should remain in Afghanistan given what they're saying about Pakistan;
3. Will Israel-pander if given a shot, and thinking about it;
4. Will try to turn questions back to domestic policy whenever and wherever possible.

#HermanCain: God convinced me to grope women

Herman Cain and Gloria Etchison Cain
I doubt we're going to hear that comment any time soon, but why shouldn't we?

Hey, Mr. HermanNutser, if you believe some invisible spirit entity told you to run for president, he/she/it is the person behind the other things you've done, too, right? Like allegedly making sexual advanced on multiple women? Like joking about sexual harassment with a stupid Anita Hill comment?

Like acting like a black stereotype to fill out a "token black Republican spot" for the GOP just because we have a black president?

Here's the HermanNutser:
“I prayed and prayed and prayed. I’m a man of faith, I had to do a lot of praying for this one, more praying than I’d ever done before in my life. And when I finally realized that it was God saying that this is what I needed to do, I was like Moses. ‘You’ve got the wrong man, Lord. Are you sure?’” Cain told a crowd of over 100 people at the Young Republican National Federation, an event hosted by the Georgia Young Republicans at the Westin Peachtree Plaza.
So, did you pray over Sharon Bialek, something like this:
“Dear Lord, that's quite curvaceous woman with long blond hair there. What should I do?  ‘Grab her head and shove it toward my crotch?’ Really, Lord? Are you sure? Well, if you say so. You are the boss, after all.”
I don't suppose the HermanNutser will tell us any time soon that god told him to do that. Or to pray:
“Dear Lord, I forgot to ask last week. Did the National Restaurant Association upgrade its liability insurance? It did? You told the board of directors to do so? Lord, I just want to praise your name!”
And, softball interview alert: Mrs. HermanNutser, Gloria Etchison Cain, will be interviewed by Fox's Greta Van Susteren. What? Sarah Palin's not available to conduct this one?

Why California's #HSR is dumb

NOTE: This article has been updated to reflect further information international HSR as well as that in California.

I love the idea of high-speed rail, and in the U.S., California is well positioned. Its two big metro areas are spaced far enough apart for HSR to make a lot of sense over conventional rail. Easy extenders can go to Sacramento and San Diego.

But, right now, there's a HUGE problem. Wayyyy too many stations in between the two metro areas. I love the idea of HSR, but, if you can never get a train up to top speed, your specific plan is el stupido, Golden Staters. Modesto, Merced AND Stockton? You can't get the train up above Greyhound speed. Ditto for the Palmdale stop. Going northbound, once HSR gets through Cajon Pass, let it roll all the away to Fresno.

And other locations? Gilroy for HSR? Tulare? You've got to be kidding. There's no population base at either site. I suspect that the routing AND the number of stops are all "political gravy." Well, tough shit. You drive, take a bus, or take a local train from Tulare to Fresno, or whatever, to ride HSR. Palmdale? Not on a direct line between SoCal and Fresno. After Santa Clarita, no stops until Fresno.

Now, not all these stations may be used for every train, tis true. But, the state government's HSR agency needs to be clearer about that, as well as about tentative ticket costs and other things. And trust me, I"ve looked both there and Wikipedia. That said, the state's map says Tulare is "regional," but doesn't explain more what that means. And Gilroy is NOT listed as "regional."

This applies to HSR in other locales. In Texas, a "triangle" of Dallas, Houston and Austin would work well. But, the Dallas-Houston train can't stop at College Station, nor the Dallas-Austin one at Waco. DC-NYC would work, but that train can't stop in Philly. Florida? First, no way to do a Miami-Tampa line without even more damage to the Everglades, is there?

High-speed rail, whether here, the U.S. or Europe, has some specific needs. Stations must be at least 150 miles apart; else, standard rail is just fine. Realistically, 200 miles or so is better. Stations shouldn't be more than 500 miles apart, or else you're less efficiently competing with air travel. And, terminal cities need to have a minimum population density, an issue The Economist addresses well. More on all of this below the fold.

'Always On' isn't always on

I'm now reviewing some books at Goodreads; Amazon and I are undergoing a trial separation, about which I'll be blogging soon, as, given Amazon's crappy customer service to an A-list reviewer, this is likely to eventually become a divorce.

Anyway, read on!

Always On: How the iPhone Unlocked the Anything-Anytime-Anywhere Future--and Locked Us InAlways On: How the iPhone Unlocked the Anything-Anytime-Anywhere Future--and Locked Us In by Brian Chen

My rating: 2 of 5 stars


A disappointment. Chen is a former writer for Macworld, and, while I could tell the book was thin by picking it up at the library, nonetheless, with the dust cover promising to talk about vertical integration, issues I’ve called “infowars” on my blog, I still expected a more critical eye on Mac. I agree with Chen about Android’s open source kind of biting back Google, but Chen appears to worry not that much about Apple’s semi-dictatorial vertical control, only enough to slap it on the hands as if he was trying to appear not too biased. As far as psychological-type implications of people being “always on,” it wasn’t that deep that way, either.



View all my reviews




November 11, 2011

It's about the children, not Joe Paterno

As Penn State football coaching legend Joe Paterno announces his retirement effective the end of this year, in large part for failure to do more to report alleged child sex abuse by a long-time assistant, Rick Reilly reminds us:

It's about the children. It's not about Paterno's reputation, and its possibly being sullied. It's not about Jerry Sandusky's reputation, either. It's about the children: the ones he allegedly sodomized. The ones whose alleged sodomy Paterno failed, no, refused, to report.
Imagine: Victim One, according to the Harrisburg (Pa.) Patriot-News, was often taken out of class by Sandusky to be further molested. Just taken out of school by somebody who wasn't his parent, with no questions asked until his mother finally called the principal and asked her to check into it. Later that day, the principal called back in tears. "You need to come down here right now."
Unfortunately, the reality can't even be fully comprehended by many.

It's about the children -- and the adults they eventually became. Or tried to become. Or didn't know how to become.

Some of us understand that already. And, those his column Sunday didn't go far enough, Frank Bruni got this at least partially right. It's about the trust.

Joe Paterno trusted insider flunkies that he had built up around himself more than anybody else, to the point he could tell the university a flat "no" when it was suggested, eight years ago, that he retire. And now, Joe, because of that, it's time for you to pay the price. When I saw the dam burst, I thought you shouldn't be allowed to coach out the season, frankly.

Fortunately, Penn State has ethics, or PR fears. Paterno is out, immediately. Good. That said, I fear the Nittany Lions' home game Saturday will be a Paterno love orgy, unless the same board of regents who canned him does a pre-game memorial to him while also doing something meaningful in relation to child sexual abuse. Otherwise, Paterno, while he may disagree with the regents' decision, needs to support them in making Saturday's last home game as smooth as possible.

But, again, it's not about Paterno, it's about the children. And the children who grow up to be adult "survivors."

Some sports columnists get it, already going to writing about the pain Paterno caused. Read Ivan Maisel.
Paterno? No, he isn't the one to feel sorry for, even after decades of dignity and grace. If Paterno thinks getting fired on his retirement day stings, he doesn't know true pain.
He can reread the grand jury report to find out about that. Some of those lost boys of Penn State could have been saved, and Joe Paterno will go to his grave knowing that will forever be college sports' greatest shame.
Or Rick Reilly, who totally gets the "trust ripped away" issue.
If these boys really were molested, groped and raped by a middle-aged ex-Penn State football coach, then whatever misjudgment Paterno made will be a single lit match compared to the bonfire these boys will walk in for years to come.
Many of them won't be able to trust. Won't be able to love. Won't be able to feel -- nor trust or love themselves.
For the reality of adult "survivors," read my blog post (adapted from a newspaper column I wrote) about Laveranues Coles. You'll see from that just how much child sexual abuse, especially when it is ongoing, is about manipulating trust, or pseudo-trust.

There's been plenty of talk about how Wall Street traders may be sociopaths. Well, what about ongoing child molesters like Jerry Sandusky apparently is? They're even worse trust manipulators. After the allegations, not only did nobody do anything, nobody asked why Sandusky might be so interested in running youth camps. And, beyond the "trusted" coaches, teachers, principals, Catholic priests and Protestant ministers, let's not forget that at least one third of child sexual abuse happens at home. Given that Penn State's now ex-president has a sociology Ph.D., the disgusting, non-funny irony of America's willful ignorance in that area comes home to roost.

And, the flip side of abusers abusing trust is enablers like Paterno abusing power. That is dirty laundry indeed.

Meanwhile, some thoughts on a different bit of "exploitation" below the fold.

Herman Cain went there with Anita Hill

How much bigger of a buffoon can he be than to joke about Anita Hill while the sexual harassment allegations against him pile up?

Is he really running to try to sell books? Is being the GOP's conservative black class clown the best way to do that? Seriously, if you were wanting to read a "how to succeed in business" book from a GOP candidate, you'd read Romney far before Cain.

And, while Cain plays to type of lecherous rich business owner, with a Stepin Fetchit twist of black lime, the GOP still wonders why more black voters won't cross over? And even a quasi-thoughtful white conservative columnist like Ross Douthat won't call out Cain as a blatant symbol of tokenism?

It's not just that the GOP has such a weak field of presidential candidates that Barack Obama might indeed get re-elected. It's that the GOP has such a generally weak field of supportive pundits of even the "thoughtful" type, and above all, it's that the GOP has such a generally weak field of blatant quasi-racist-with-a-wink voters to actually like Cain, precisely not because he's black, but because he's all too ready to be a stereotypical black token.

And, because this is likely to add to the probability of a panderfest win for Barack Obama (although it may continue to open wider third-party doors) the American public loses.

Why big papers hate paywalls

First, by big papers, there's two that are really being counted here: The New York Times and the Washington Post. The Chicago Trib and the L.A. Times fall in a tier below that; next come top regional papers like the Dallas Morning News, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, etc.

I'm leaving out the Wall Street Journal, which already has a a paywall, of course. I'm ignoring McNewspaper, USA Today. It's a pale imitation of a real newspaper, and Gannett, even in today's times, is often a pale imitation of a real newspaper company, at the executive level.

Anyway, so, it's the NYT and the WaPost I'm talking about.

The Times does NOT have a paywall. A pseudo-paywall, defeatable by a two-bit Javascript hack created by a Canadian when the Old Gray Lady rolled out the paywall north of the border six months ago, a pseudo-paywall which is still defeatable by that hack, or, allegedly, by simply emptying your browser cache, is NOT a paywall. I don't care what lies Bill Keller or anybody else at the Times issues for public consumption, the Times doesn't have a paywall. It's even more a lie given how much fanfare the Times bloviated for us in the months before launching it.

That said, the WaPost doesn't even have a fake paywall and has no plans for one.

Now, I don't know about the Times' financials in detali, other than it having to remortgage its own office space a couple of years ago. But everybody who follows the media in detail knows the Post is hemorrhaging money like a drunken Republican president on a war-launching spree, and that only the Kaplan suite of businesses keeps the parent company alive.

So why don't either of these folks have paywalls? My proposed answer below the fold

November 10, 2011

David Brooks fails at bobo impersonation

It's not enough for David Brooks to write lies and myths about his mythical "boboes." Now, he has to pretend to be one himself, from the first line of his latest column:
Foreign tourists are coming up to me on the streets and asking, “David, you have so many different kinds of inequality in your country. How can I tell which are socially acceptable and which are not?”
Yeah, right. You're hanging out at the Starbucks nearest Lady Liberty, Ground Zero or the Brooklyn Bridge, and foreign tourists immediately recognize you.

That said, he gets most of the details wrong, as to what types are acceptable. Large swathes of Brooks' GOP are perfectly fine with church inequality, including using Jews like Brooks as a fig leaf for anything allegedly "Judeo-Christian." And, if this is his idea of humor, well, he fails even more there.

Does Gnu Atheism have another #antifeminism issue?

This time, it may be good old Chris Hitchens, not Richard Dawkins, with foot firmly in mouth, specifically about sexual harassment claims against Herman Cain:
Why does it also not delight me that the extent of the allegations against him, at least on some showings, is “unwanted advances”? It might be argued, by the cynical or the naive, that all “advances” begin that way. True, a period of a matter of months is specified, but don’t I seem to recall, in President Obama’s jaunty account of his courtship, that it took him a certain amount of time to “wear down” his intended target? I dare say that many of us could say the same, while reminiscing among friends, and still hope to avoid getting too many sidelong looks. But in the present circumstances there seems to be a danger of a straight-out politicization of the sexual harassment issue, with many people deciding it in advance on the simple basis of campaign calculations, or—to put it more crudely—of whose ox is being gored. This appears to represent a general coarsening by silence, and yet another crude element in a depressing campaign.
First, Snitchens, "unwanted advances" legally means, in most cases, that an "advancement" (by a man, normally, though women can sexually harass, too) has already been made, and rejected, and now is being repeated at least once. So, your second sentence would be wrong. (Especially now that another woman has mentioned "groping"; we'll see if Snitches edits his column or not. The third sentence, trying to draw a parallel between Cain and Obama, is ridiculous. Especially since, even before the "groping" claim, Cain had multiple accusers and the National Restaurant Association had made multiple settlements.

To claim that this is being politicized when, in the past, many women's groups have had no problem pointing at Democratic as well as Republican sexual harassers, is just a red herring.

The only thing I can agree with is Hitchens' last sentence: This is a depressing campaign.

That said, Hitchens will likely be even less apologetic than Dawkins was over Elevatorgate.

UPDATE, Nov. 10:  48 hours and counting since I read Hitch's column, and about 72 since it was posted, and no additional paragraphs of  "nuance," modification, etc.

The unbearable blackness of Herman Cain

Ross Douthat tries to argue that, while we're not a post-racial America, we're not a very racist one, either.

Douthat can start off seeming so right, then drive the car into the ditch, and he certainly does so this time.

Here's the seeming so right:
Racism is America’s original sin. The story of race in America has been one of the great dramas of our history. It makes sense that the presidency of Barack Obama has brought these issues rushing back to the surface.
Here's exactly where the wheels turn:
Conservatives don’t like Barack Obama because he’s the most liberal president in a generation or more, not because they’re subconsciously anxious about the color of his skin.
Obama ain't close to being that liberal. And, Clinton was never called "socialist." How much of this is coded talk for racist angst, I don't know. But, I don't doubt at least some of it is. Beyond that, Douthat undercuts his own thesis by noting that Cain is tolerated as a "token." Were he white, he'd be in Bachmann/Santorum poll territory and we all know that. Douthat certainly does.

I mean, riffing on Rick Perry, Cain is as intellectually shallow as Perry's childhood Paint Creek in August.

Beyond that, Douthat could use the column to point out the racial fixation of the GOP; he could note how Cain pulled his punches, then pulled them back, on criticizing Perry's "niggerhead" deer lease.

But, he doesn't.

Fact is that no more than a decade ago, a black GOP Congressman with more brains than Cain and current black GOP Congressman Alan West combined, J.C. Watts, quit the House because he could get zero traction in the Republican hierarchy.

Were Obama not president, even the Koch Bros. wouldn't be wasting their money on "Brother Herman." Nor would other rich GOP donors. (And, Alan West wouldn't have become a Florida tea party darling and gotten elected to Congress.)

The likes of Cain and West are tea partyers' collective "I do have a black friend ... " statements. If Douthat had brains, honesty and intellectual integrity, he'd write about that the next time he writes about Herman Cain. And, he'd admit Cain and West get the GOP polling support they do precisely because many GOPers are either subconsciously or consciously anxious about the color of Obama's skin.

It's funny that black conservatives like to deride affirmative action. Well, Cain, as well as Clarence Thomas, wouldn't be where he is without de jure affirmative action on jobs and now, de facto affirmative action in politics.

And, after I wrote all of the above, I find out that Touré of Time thinks the same, talking of "absolution" for the GOP.

November 09, 2011

The worst GOP debate yet

Let's skip Rick Perry's amnesia, whether from alcohol, pain meds or just being an idiot.

The GOP debate Nov. 9 was the worst so far of the ones I followed.

How bad? I actually agreed with Michele Bachmann on something, namely that Obama's wrong to continue to have a Social Security tax cut. When that, Rick Perry's amnesia and PizzaMan's 9-9-9 chorus are the highlights of the nigh, it's bad.

And, speaking of 9-9-9, ave you heard about the new version of the #9-9-9 plan from #HermanCain? Nine women, nine lawsuits, nine settlement deals. Yeah, not the best joke, either.

But, let's look at Tricky Ricky, since many are arguing (including wingers) that he's now officially toast:


I've said for some time now that his money plus his many other issues had given Perry the potential to be a new Phil Gramm, and he's getting closer and closer to that point.

As for GOP candidates clamoring that we could be just like Europe if we don't fix the deficit, tosh. Romney and Huntsman actually know better, so they're pandering. The rest of the GOP field probably actually believes that, so they're idiots.

The always-readable Gail Collins weighs in, saying every candidate played to type. Yep, and that's part of the problem. (That, and no Gary Johnson on the dais.)

And, there were plenty of whoppers being told (along with Romney's flip-flops, speaking of playing to type.) And, per the comment below, I think of Steve Miller: "Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right."

Obama #CO2 pander won't help #climatechange much

President Barack Obama has announced plans to regulate CO2 emissions from new power plants.

First, note that one word: new.

Even as wingnuts gear up, this won't affect a single power plant already built. Depending on the exact phrasing, it won't affect any currently under construction.

And, we all know that older coal-fired plants are the biggest problem on CO2 emissions. The electric industry's been moving more and more toward gas-fired plants anyway.

I'm surprised this hasn't gotten more traction on Memeorandum, given how it's like honey to wingnut flies.

That said, per the one environmentalist quoted, it is a start. But, it's a small start.

And, we don't know what the actual standards will be. How tight will they be set?

Reality? Since it only addresses new plants, it will do ZERO to reign in American CO2 emissions. Because it does point toward not just natural gas but nuclear, given Obama's close ties of the past, it will gin up campaign money from the likes of Exelon, as well as the likes of Duke Energy, heavy on gas and lighter on coal in its power-plant profile.

And, it may be an advance move to try to give Dear Leader cover on Keystone. Stay tuned on that, and if Obama gives the pipeline the green light, look for another EPA announcement shortly before the Keystone okey-dokey and remember that you heard me predict it.

UPDATE, Nov. 10: And, I warned you, except it happened earlier than expected! Dear Leader wants TransCanada to look at alternative routes for the pipeline, which will push a final decision past the 2012 elections.

And, more pandering here, this time on the call for wilderness areas.

November 08, 2011

Why Obama could win even with a crappy economy

First, he's really not running against Mitt Romney (or whomever), but against Mitch McConnell and Eric Cantor, as Michael Tomasky notes. About 60 percent of moderates in Florida and even one-third of conservatives think the Congressional GOP is deliberately stalling legislation that would help the economy, he says.

However, he offers a caveat: Democrats in general and Obama in particular have to handle this correctly. And, so far, even in his moments of actual or feigned outrage, Obama has struck me as nothing like Harry Truman, giving hell to the "do nothing" 80th Congress.

Second, Obama IS running against a GOP set of mutts: either a Mitt Romney who inspires the party wingnuts, at best, no more than McCain, or a wingnut who drives off more moderate voters.

Tomorrow's off-term elections, coupled with a Democrat (of sorts) holding on to the West Virginia governor's mansion, should give more clues about Obama's chances.

UPDATE: Prop 2 won going away in Ohio. And, spermatic personhood got its butt kicked in Mississippi. So, Dear Leader has some hope to cling to.

But, back to Tomasky. While Obama is great at branding himself, it still remains to be seen how he can handle "going negative" with style. And, re Ohio, union workers are enthusiastic about their rights, not necessarily about Barack Obama.

Coin-flipping chimps and 1 percenter jobs

Michael Tomasky notes that, per Daniel Kahnemann, Wall Street traders are, on average, no better at picking winners than average, or than coin-flipping chimps. And, that's part of how this rentier class is wealth destroyers as much as wealth creators.

Since they do no better than average, it's arguable that boards of directors do no better than average, either.

So, why not fire every current board member of every Fortune 1,000 company, and replace them all with currently unemployed people? These board jobs often pay $50,000 a year or more, so they'd be real money for the unemployed. And, we're talking about 10,000 or so jobs.

Not a huge difference-maker in unemployment, but, if BOD members are as worthless on corporate strategy, on average, as traders on Wall Street, it couldn't hurt America's companies.

Me "on top of the world" this summer

Especially for my National Park Service ranger reader, here's me having summited another 14er this summer:


Frank Bruni gets child sex abuse half right

But ONLY half right. Until we're ready to admit that not only do many child sex abusers not wear trench coats, but that they also don't wear priestly vestments or the clothes of neighbors down the street, but that they wear the clothes and drive the cars of parents and step-parents (both dads AND moms) grandparents, uncles, aunts and sibilings old enough to not be "Playing doctor," we will still be in a land of myth and denial about the reality of child sexual abuse. And, the horrible stripping away of trust.

Exact numbers are hard to come by, but it's estimated that one-third or more of child sexual abusers are relatives of the child.

November 06, 2011

#AP, new media and job/life segregation

The AP has issued official guidelines about staffers (doesn't just say writers) retweeting tweets they get from people who follow them, etc. I agree with the story, the stuff below is the pull quote:
Everyone who works for AP must be mindful that opinions he or she expresses may damage the AP's reputation as an unbiased source of news. AP employees must refrain from declaring their views on contentious public issues in any public forum and must not take part in demonstrations in support of causes or movements. This includes liking and following pages and groups that are associated with these causes or movements.
Sometimes AP staffers ask if they're free to comment in social media on matters like sports and entertainment. The answer is yes, with a couple of reasonable exceptions:
First, trash-talking about anyone (or team or company or celebrity) reflects badly on staffers and the AP. Assume your tweet will be seen by the target of your comment. The person or organization you're deriding may be one that an AP colleague is trying to develop as a source. Second, if you or your department covers a subject--or you supervise people who do--you have a special obligation to be even-handed in your tweets. Whenever possible, link to AP copy, where we have the space to represent all points of view.
That said, this gets back to the issue of unbiased media, whether such an ideal is achievable, and, even more, the he said/she said of modern mainstream media.

If I'm some far-right think tank (there are no far-left ones of any size), do I have somebody on staff who monitors AP political writers, science writers (climate change), etc., to see who all they retreat, to try to "prove" that they're biased? For all I know, this is already happening.

Beyond that, the third sentence of the first paragraph is ridiculous. It doesn't say such "liking" is limited to a person's professional Facebook account. It's saying that, even online, you have no right to personal opinions as part of a personal life.

That said, the AP has been almost as clueless on such issues as other media umbrellas, member newspapers, etc.

The ' #99percent Declaration' is a mishmash

Problem No. 1 with this declaration, even before I analyze it? It isn't on the New York City General Assembly website, nor on the Occupy Wall Street website, so it might not be accepted as "official."

That said, there's also several other problems. Looking at each point, as numbered there, of this declaration, here's some critique:

I. If you expect to effect change as part of the 2012 elections, waiting until July 4, 2012 to have a "national general assembly" is way too late. And, having it in Philadelphia? Good luck finding a place to meet of any size, accommodations, etc. Also, who's going to elect the two delegates from each state? Who's going to validate election processes? That takes, er ... organization and leadership, those two dirty words.

III. How long past July 4 will it take to actually propose and accept a "redress of grievances"?

IV. This has a mix of good and bad, but mostly bad. By subarticle, let's look at this dreck, below the fold.

#Facebook ain't salvation for #newspapers

Unfortunately, from blindly buying into Facebook-based commenting systems rather than internally controlling commenting as part of a paywall, to thinking that "socializing" every editorial employee if not every employee of the newspaper with a corporate-backwalled Facebook account, it seems like too many newspapers are still looking for and buying into easy fixes.

The reality, though, is different.

First of all, some newspapers continue the same stupidity that got them into trouble in the first place.

For instance, if you, like many nondaily and smaller daily newspapers, have finally gotten your website paywelled, but undercut it by posting updates about breaking news stories on a regular basis to your free Facebook site, don't be surprised if a lot of people don't sign up for online newspaper subscriptions. Why should they? I wouldn't. Twitter's not quite so bad, if you keep your updates generic and link to a continually-developing version of the story on your website, behind your paywall.

The same holds true for blogging, to some degree. If you're a smaller daily, and your website isn't set up to do an internal, paywalled blog, don't set up a linked, free Blogger or Wordpress blog. More below the fold: