Technology, Civil War & Parallels

Telegraph KeyI’ve been really enjoying both the Civil War Day By Day Blog, as well as the Disunion series in the Opininator from the NY Times. Earlier this week Disunion had an article, Morse, The Telegraph & Civil War. The gist of the article is that the advent of the Telegraph allowed for quicker and faster communication, and coupled with advances of the printing press, allowed for more newspapers to take hold, each with their own partisan orientation.

This speed of communication allowed for the schism between North and South to broaden.

Instead, of course, national unity unraveled as antagonistic North-South stereotypes hardened during the 1850s. The dominant modern narrative of mid-19th century American history suggests that North and South began to see each other more clearly — and that each discovered how genuinely different the other had become. While a fast-changing North embraced progress and improvement, the South remained wedded to an archaic, retrogressive labor system. Under the circumstances, Northern and Southern outlooks and values necessarily diverged.

What struck me most though about this article is how it parallels today’s current events and how the advances in technology and the internet can be directly attributed to the uprising in the Middle East, as well as to some degree the political discourse in our own country. The 24 hour news cycle, and the fact that anyone can start a blog/website to argue their stance has really changed the way politics is done in the United States. We just had our first presidential candidate announce his candidacy via Twitter. A politician was run out of Washington due to his use of Craigslist and the ability of a website to get a hold of the email exchange and image to quickly get it out, being picked up by mainstream media, resulting in his resignation within days of the story hitting the web.

Guess it goes to prove the old adage, The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Technology, Civil War & Parallels

Telegraph KeyI’ve been really enjoying both the Civil War Day By Day Blog, as well as the Disunion series in the Opininator from the NY Times. Earlier this week Disunion had an article, Morse, The Telegraph & Civil War. The gist of the article is that the advent of the Telegraph allowed for quicker and faster communication, and coupled with advances of the printing press, allowed for more newspapers to take hold, each with their own partisan orientation.

This speed of communication allowed for the schism between North and South to broaden.

Instead, of course, national unity unraveled as antagonistic North-South stereotypes hardened during the 1850s. The dominant modern narrative of mid-19th century American history suggests that North and South began to see each other more clearly — and that each discovered how genuinely different the other had become. While a fast-changing North embraced progress and improvement, the South remained wedded to an archaic, retrogressive labor system. Under the circumstances, Northern and Southern outlooks and values necessarily diverged.

What struck me most though about this article is how it parallels today’s current events and how the advances in technology and the internet can be directly attributed to the uprising in the Middle East, as well as to some degree the political discourse in our own country. The 24 hour news cycle, and the fact that anyone can start a blog/website to argue their stance has really changed the way politics is done in the United States. We just had our first presidential candidate announce his candidacy via Twitter. A politician was run out of Washington due to his use of Craigslist and the ability of a website to get a hold of the email exchange and image to quickly get it out, being picked up by mainstream media, resulting in his resignation within days of the story hitting the web.

Guess it goes to prove the old adage, The more things change, the more they stay the same.

A Headline Right Out of The Wire

In a case of life imitating art imitating life the Baltimore mayor was indicted on 12 counts of felony theft, perjury, fraud and misconduct in office. I can see Lester Freeman and his crew heading the investigation, Bunk and McNulty laughing about the headlines as they pass a bottle of Jameson’s in an empty lot.

And from reading the article, it sounds like the mayor and her attorney are taking pages right out of the Clay Davis/Clarence Royce playbook.

Man, that was a great show, I really look forward to another project from Simon.

But I Want to Vote for the Other Guy!

MiamiHerald.com | 10/28/2006 | Glitches cited in early voting
So it seems that some early voters in S Florida are having issues with their electronic voting machines. They tap one candidate, but the other shows on the screen you get to review your choices. The kicker is that what is being reported in the media is that all incidences are voters who are choosing Davis, yet Crist is showing on the review page. No media reports that I’ve seen mention the reverse, nor has anyone reported the issue with other offices up for election. As the Miami Herald article says, this will really get the tin foil cap wearing crowd frothing at the mouth, perhaps this time with cause.

Florida Progressive Information Network

www.flpin.net I was recently contacted about mentioning this site, and after taking a look around, it appears it could indeed be a good way of putting people in touch with organizations that deal with issues they are concerned with. Basically you choose issues that you are concerned with, a region of Florida, and then the database outputs organizations that match. You can then sign up for announcements from those organizations, so as to better mobilize concerned citizens. I didn’t look at the registration process, but the privacy policy states that all information such as address and name are voluntarily offered, and that they do not share email addresses with the organizations that are linked to from the site. You can sign up with the individual organizations if you care to do so, but that is all done off site from FL-PIN.
The only problem I had was the broadness that organizations can set for their issues. If I do a search under Protecting the Enviroment, marine/estuary, the results currently are FCAN and Pinellas Progressives. Hardly organizations specifically dealing with such a topic. I would limit organizations to a primary issue, with the ability to choose a few secondary issues. Especially as the site grows, and number of organizations increase. Otherwise, the search concept is useless, as all organizations can simply choose all the areas so as to increase exposure.
All in all, the concept though is a good one, and positive tool for citizens and organizations with common goals to find one another.

Sums Up My Feelings Quite Well

bush_stepsbush_stepsHmm, title says it all. Might as well be a copy of the Constitution on there too. I’ve avoided blogging anything about 9.11, as so much is out there, from the issues with the ABC docudrama, the politicization of the anniversary (for instance, Bush laying the wreath at the site of the WTC, with only Republican representatives with him), etc, etc, etc. I simply wish that at some point, those that differ on domestic issues, can rationally approach our global issues on a united front, and sanely resolve the conflicts that effect our security, both home and abroad. I’d also like to see the powers that be see that the continued death and injury that befalls our military overseas is not a price worth continuing to pay, and find diplomatic solutions to resolve the civil war in Iraq.

Yeah, That’s the Solution

Lakeland Ledger, Tallahasse Democrat, Corruption Chronicles
So a supervisor of elections uncovers more security issues with electronic voting machines, and our elected leader’s answer is to pass a bill preventing independent testing of the equipment. Real bloody smart. I’m all for technological advancements in all areas of government, but I also want to know that the technology is secure. Which means testing, and more testing. Rather than a knee jerk reaction and getting into bed with a company because of questionable lobbying practices, or the like. I really hope this bill has limited support, and state reps shoot this down quickly.

Pelosi Asks Jefferson to Resign from Committee

Washington Post
I’m not the biggest fan of Pelosi, but I applaud the token letter she sent out. So often one side criticizes another, yet fails to follow their own marching orders. She’s putting the Democratic Party’s money where their mouth is. While well heeled Republicans like the likes of Ney and DeLay held their posts well after annouced charges, with a ground swell of support from the White House down, the Dem’s are doing what is right. Step aside, and let the courts sort it out. Do the right thing.
Problem is, he won’t.

“We Know Who You’ve Been Talking To…”

The Blotter

“It’s time for you to get some new cell phones, quick,” the source told us in an in-person conversation…Other sources have told us that phone calls and contacts by reporters for ABC News, along with the New York Times and the Washington Post, are being examined as part of a widespread CIA leak investigation.

When will it stop? What has to happen for the voices of the sanity and democracy to rise above this administration and reign it back in?
I’ve not posted about this really, as it seems everyone else has said it more eloquently than I, but at this point, I think people simply need to continue to put it out there, don’t let it go away with another news cycle about another cute blonde disappearing in the tropics (as sad as the story is, it shouldn’t be prime time news, every night).
And instead of coming clean tonight, he’s going to talk about sending soldiers to the southern border.
Hat tip to Bob Harris for the link

Guess He Heard the Footsteps!

New services around the country are reporting that good ol’ Tom “The Hammer” DeLay is stepping down from his bid to run again for Congress. Couldn’t be better news to me. I just wonder why it’s taken so long. Perhaps he got advanced warning of the extent of Tom Rudy’s cooperation, and pending charges that will be harder to shake.
I also wonder if those who donated to his re-election can ask for a refund, and how the successor is chosen. A run off between the remaining 3 candidates?
I also wonder if Bush and the Rove machine will continue to stand by their man, or will attempt to distance themselves and the White House from DeLay.
I’m sure some answers will come sooner than later, but that’s at least one perpetrator of the culture of corruption that won’t be influencing the laws of our country, and won’t be perpetuating the good ol’ boy network on Capitol Hill come this fall.

Tom, Can You Hear the Footsteps?

Reuters.com
In case you’ve been asleep the last 4 days, Abramhoff got 5 years 10 months for his role in the Sun Cruz line purchase. Still to come are sentences for his multitude of other indiscretions while a lobbyist. Though that sentence is bound to be lessened based on his cooperation with prosecutors, and run concurrent to these charges. I really hope these prosecutors are holding out for DeLay, and not just Ney.

Jan Schneider for Congress FL-13 in 2006

Jan Schneider for CongressJust a note to any readers in Congressional district 13, to support Jan Schneider in her attempt to take the seat vacated by Katherine Harris. I’ve gotten several emails pushing for her support, and come across a couple of blog posts as well, so I took a minute to check out her credentials. Not your soccer mom got bored, or super rich white girl with nothing better to do type of candidate. It’s also my understanding that a recent Democrat convert is being supported by the DNC. I hope that’s not the case, and all because one may have a few more dollars than the other. Shame shame.

I’d love to know more about this one, so if you have any details, do share.

Sure Harris Was on the Up and Up in 2000

State: New questions dog the Harris campaign
harrisThe argument has been made over and over to defend the clown woman for her actions in handling the Election in 2000, and the events leading up to it (see Texas company hired to purge thousands of “felons” from voter roll, etc). Now she’s seen clearly in bed with an admitted criminal who’s been found to illegally donate to her campaign, she’s been documented to have worked with/campaigned with/for ol’ Duke Cunningham, who’s admitted to taking kick backs/bribes. If it looks like a circus clown, and talks like a circus clown…nah, that’s not fair to the memory of Emmitt Kelly.
My only worry is that she won’t run this fall, and Bill Nelson will actually have to campaign against someone.

Scooter Libby, Global Crime Fighter

Washington Post Can someone tell me why the Chief of Staff was “so preoccupied with national security issues”? They make it sound like he was personally out hunting Bin Laden himself. Maybe he was, and he and Cheney took shooting lessons together, as neither hit their intended target. I have a feeling nothing will ever come of any of this, and that the Republicans are going to successfully sweep ALL of this under the rug, until , oh 10 years from now, when someone’s broke and needs a tell all book.

New Attempts at Gulf Drilling

Reuters

New attempts at opening up the gulf to gas and oil drilling, this under the assumption that the current methods are “safe”. And that no accidents happened last year during the hurricanes. Whippee. Thankfully, even Mel Martinez is saying he will oppose the legislation, as well as most of the congressional delegation from Florida. If they would only draft legislation taking the area off the table for X number of years, so we didn’t have to hear about this every year. If you haven’t yet, be sure you’ve contacted your Senator and Congressman about this, or any issue you feel strongly about.

Tampa Politics Strikes Again

(warning- long rant)
Tampa
While I was loosing my mind week before last, so was Tampa’s city council. The difference is, I’ve finally come to grips with how I did, and how to prevent it, unfortunately, this council hasn’t. To be fair, two, Dingfelder and Saul-Sena, were opposed and clear thinking in how to handle the situation I’m referring to.
For those not familiar with Tampa, it’s a fairly “young”city, not really getting into the swing of things until the late 1880’s, and didn’t really hit it’s stride until just after the turn of the century. Which just happens to coincide with the boom of the cigar industry. Hence the nickname that still lingers for Tampa, “Cigar City”. Continue reading “Tampa Politics Strikes Again”