Showing posts from December, 2006

A question for Senator Edwards

Congratulations on your announcement. For what it is worth, absent the entry of Al Gore into the race, you are the most appealing candidate for the Democratic nomination. I personally believe that you have the potential to influence the 2008 race in as much a transformative fashion as did Howard Dean. In fact, that belief is what drives my question and challenge to you, Senator. Dean's campaign transformed the narrative by unabashedly standing up for core Democratic values, establishing the right to dissent, and calling a spade a spade with respect to Iraq. On many issues he spoke out and was roundly vilified by the right, with (it must be noted) very little support from the other presidential contenders - including yourself. For example, Dean stated that the capture of Saddam made our country no safer. As time went on, however, these comments from Dean came to be prophetic and prescient indeed. Dean was, in a nutshell, unafraid o say the obvious even though doing so caused him imm

2008 horseracin'

With apologies to my co-blogggers, I've added some horseracin' to the blog. While most of my focus has been foreign policy, the term "nation-building" certainly applies to domestic as well as abroad. And now that the 2006 elections are past it's time for me to focus on the prize: the 08 elections. One thing I have to say at the outset is though I am not a registered Democrat, I will almost certainly be voting straight-ticket in 2008. This is because the GOP as a whole has come to stand for many things that I must repudiate utterly. These include international diplomacy, the Geneva Conventions, freedom of speech and expression, the scientific method, the individual as sovereign, and Enlightenment values as a whole. I will be an opposition voter for the next election and possibly the one after that at a minimum; I will not repeat my agonising attempt at fairness and balance in 2000 when I grappled with trying to choose between Gore and Bush. I was profoundly wrong n


Pretty loaded word, right? I immediately think of these things when I hear it: 1. racism. 2. lack of civil rights. 3. violence. In other words - a specific historical context, the brutal Afrikaans regime of South Africa. But the term has more general meaning than that. According to various dictionary definitions , apartheid can also mean "A policy or practice of separating or segregating groups", or "The policy or practice of political, legal, economic, or social discrimination, as against the members of a minority group." What I find intriguing here is that defined in this general sense, apartheid might well not be the result of an intentional policy. It may equally arise from economic conditions, or by other forms of disputes (including land, water, mineral rights, etc). In that sense apartheid becomes an important term because it fundamentally describes an illiberal condition, one that can and must be remedied via liberal institutions. However, it is also a loade

technology innovation in the netroots

I've left a lengthy comment at myDD about the lack of technology innovation in the liberal blogsphere. I hope it stimulates some discussion. I've reproduced it below teh fold, as well.   Was there a technology forum? It seems to me that the biggest millstone around our necks is that for the most part we haven't progressed beyond MoveableType and Wordpress for the vast majority of sites. DK (and to a lesser extent, myDD) push the envelope with respect to community building, and are embracing Web 2.0 stuff like tagging, but the barrier to entry for a small blogger to use the platform tools such as Scoop (plus the custom mods) is too high. And tagging hasnt been leveraged in any meaningful sense - its good practice, but we arent exploiting it in any sense. I think that the only real example of any innovation has been ActBlue, and that is of course money orinted, which is essential bit also serves just to emphasize the "netroots = ATM" meme among the establishment.