no wind today —
speak in chickadee
prayer bundles sway
in the cedars
float past the daisies
“no wind today” (special mention, Valentine’s Issues, Feb. 2005)
penciled in —
winter’s asterisk *
I just learned today that Sen. Barack Obama was among the 18 Democrats voting
for the Class Action Reform Act last week. All 26 opposing senators were Democrats.
Obama appears to have adopted the popular (with me too) anti-coupon position, but
maybe also the Madison County-bashing. According to the Kansas City Star (Feb. 10, 2005):
Barack Obama, D-Ill., said in a statement afterward that he had voted for the
bill even though he is “a strong believer” in class-action lawsuits.”When multimillion-
dollar settlements are handed down and all the victims get are coupons for a free
product, justice is not being served,” he said. “And when cases are tried in counties
only because it’s known that those judges will award big payoffs, you get quick
settlements without ever finding out who’s right and who’s wrong.”
Of course, f/k/a is still waiting for a fuller explanation of Obama’s Tort Reform position.
I can’t understand why it would be shocking to learn that some companies are firing
employees for things they have posted at their weblogs concerning the company. (See CNN/Money
article) Would we be shocked that an employee was canned for putting nasty remarks about a
supervisor, or proprietary information, on a roadside billboard? If the electronic communication
device in question were a telephone, wouldn’t you want to know the facts before getting huffy?
People get so myopic when they think their ox is being gored.
I finally got a Site Meter two weeks ago and have compared the Daily Hits numbers from my
Harvard weblog server over a 24-hour period with the Site Meter results. On one
representative day, I found that Site Meter Page Hits were 5.9% of the Harvard Hits, and
on another they were 4.7% of the Harvard Hits.
Where do they get these slogans? New York City wants to trademark a new
tourism slogan “The World’s Second Home” — which is only going to remind folks of
the line about it being a nice place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there. In general, I
think telling people your self-proclaimed status is not very effective. If they want the home
theme, why not “New York City — Make Yourself at Home” or “We’ll Make You Feel at
Home”? On the other hand, who travels to feel at home?
All kidding aside, for a moment, Steve Bainbridge has some very good questions
for his fellow conservatives on private Social Security accounts. Check his TrackBacks and
decide whether their answers are persuasive.
“tinyredcheck” Speaking of weblog persuasion, Lisa Stone at Legal Blog Watch quotes a couple
Law.com luminaries who seem riled by the MSM-weblog-what’s-journalism? debate. Prof. Eugune
“After all, if you have a legal question, who would you rather hearthe answer from? A newspaper
reporter who asked a lawyer? Or from a lawyer who’s also a highly respected law professor?” While
I agree that some weblogs are journalism (but many don’t even try to be), I also believe that:
(1) Webloggers have the ability to create giant “opinion bubbles” that are based on weak or
misunderstood facts, yet have persuasive or coercive force that is totally unconnected to reason,
logic, virtue, or facts. The “lynch mob” effect is fueled very often by such anger and vile — and
ideologically-based agendas — that the target can be easily overwhelmed and left without allies.
(e.g., the Durango Cookie Case, where the girls were flooded with gifts and tv invitations and
Mrs.Young ended up flooded with hate mail and phone calls, and death threats, before she had
any chance to get her facts out.)
(2) I know of no source more likely to give a skewed response on an issue than a law professor
who’s already stated an opinion publically on the issue in question. There are some legal
journalistswho do a darn good job at figuring out the law without asking a lawyer or a law
(3) Too many folks with weblogs have a hard time understanding that their opinion is not
necessarily truth and comes filtered through their own ideological and experiential perspectives.
I know this last blurb violates yesterday’s pledge to keep things short, but Lisa made me do it.
February 17, 2005
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