The number is up 10 percent in five years. And scandalously, 38 percent of North Carolina high school students do not make it to graduation. Source: News and Observer, based on a study by Action for Children North Carolina.
Craig's List is now the seventh most peopled site on the Internet, according toThe New York Times syndicate. Craig Newmark, founder, says the site works because of its "culture of trust." "The site's only income derives from job listings in three US cities...Craigslist still nets around $20m a year, it could be generating much more profit." Employers are charged $75 for San Francisco job postings and $25 for New York and Los Angeles jobs, Bloomberg News reports. "The company plans to start charging New York real estate brokers $10 for each 30-day listing, which Zappe estimates will add $7.2 million to 2006 sales." The company has 19 employees, all in San Francisco, and runs 190 sites in 35 countries and all 50 U.S. states. Ebay owns 25 percent of Craigslist. I've become a fan of the Raleigh, N.C. version, though it doesn't have nearly so personal a feel as my old neighborhood email list, which relies even more on a "culture of trust."
In Iraq, the United States toppled a strong-arm dictator, Saddam Hussein, who was essentially contained and disarmed, and replaced him, it appears, with slaughter, chaos, instability and now, civil war. Some 8,000 Iraqis died in the last year, the Associated Press estimates. The Lancet, a respected British medical journal, estimated that U.S. and British forces killed 100,000 Iraqis in the first year after the fall of Saddam in 2003 (Source). History Professor Juan Cole, University of Michigan, posts link to report that 90 Iraqi women become widows and 15 Iraqi policemen die every day. "That is 5,400 policemen dying in a year! By David Singer's definition, you only need 1000 deaths a year among government
forces to qualify for having a civil war."If the slaughter continues, are Iraqis really better off than they were under Saddam? Is the U.S. really more secure than it was when Saddam was in power? To add insult the injury, the war's cost to American taxpayers exceeds $800 billion dollars, far more than the inflation-adjusted cost of the Vietnam War.
"Man is conceived in sin and born in corruption and he passeth from the stink of the didie to the stench of the shroud. There is always something." -- Robert Penn Warren, in the Pulitzer Prize-winning All the King's Men, one of the best novels on politics I ever read.Recommended by Bob Woodward. I hear the 1949 film version is far better than the 2006 remake starring Sean Penn.
While Dognooz probably does advance his own causes, because he obviously doesn't take himself too seriously, and he cites real facts, I doubt that My Left Wing: "Rage, Rage, Against the Lying of the Right" helps her own causes much. According to a Washington Postprofile ("The Left, Online and Outraged: Liberal Blogger Finds An Outlet and a Community"), she's venomous and outrageous. She has become a poster-child example of liberal moonbattery. Her rhetoric reminds me of the venom spewing from the right, and the Clinton-haters that I wrote about in the early days of the Internet.
Such over-the-top, extreme statements, from either left or right, I suppose, come from a feeling of powerlessness and a desire to get attention amid all the media babble at whatever cost. But such irresponsible ranting sure doesn't advance "civic dialogue." Of course, neither do the reactionaries who only see the problem as one-sided -- coming entirely from the left or entirely from the right. People who are ideologically intemperate are just that -- people -- not necessarily representatives of "liberals" or "conservatives." While they may get more attention than people who try to employ reason more than emotion, if anything, in the long run they do a discredit to their beliefs.
"These are the days of miracle and wonder," Paul Simon sang ("The Boy in the Bubble"). These are also the days when a dog catcher or cab driver can rant to the entire world about politics. I stumbled on this "maddog rant from the doghouse" clip on Google news video, which I found both funny and a little scary: "Republicans: they call themselves 'the party of ideas,' but how many are good ones? Here's a whole slew of humdingers. A liberal political rant." Shades of Howard Beale from Network: "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore." It's from www.dognooz.com. Who the character is in dognooz is not stated, though a search on the domain ownership suggests that Fine Cut Presentations, along with artist and filmmaker David Lynch, are involved. On his site, Lynch is doing some really innovative things online with Flash and video, and asking people to pay for it.
If your browser is slicing off a portion of this clip (on Typepad, it looks better in Mozilla than in Internet Explorer), you can view it full screen here.
"There are two kinds of parents -- free-range and concerted. They're absolutely concerted. They make sure (their four sons) walk the straight
and narrow." -- Sgt. Robert A. Kalosy, a member of the Essex Fells, N.J. police
department, referring to the parents of Reade Seligmann, Duke University lacrosse player accused of raping an escort service dancer, in The News and Observer.
A year ago, I wrote that "public faith in journalism may be at a near-record low." While rants against the "mainstream media," the "liberal media," and the "corporate media" remain prevalent, I think respect for journalists has grown somewhat in the last year. Maybe because media executives are starting to answer critics and engage in dialogue on blogs and elsewhere. Maybe because the bad news of print circulation declines have been accepted, while the good news of expanded online readership and revenue are starting to meet their potential.
In 2005, Dana Priest of The Washington Postbroke the story of the CIA holding terror suspects in secret prisons in Eastern Europe. She reported the account of a German man that bears remarkable similarity to the movie, "The War Within" -- the C.I.A. kidnapped him, drugged him, and transported him to Afghanistan for a months-long interrogation before releasing him - with no explanation.
James Risen and Eric Lichtblau of The New York Timesexposed the Bush Administration's domestic eavesdropping program, "secretly monitoring international telephone calls and e-mail messages of people inside the United States without court approval."
Reporters for The Postuncovered the Abramoff lobbying scandal. And The Post's David Finkel exposed the U.S.'s failed attempt to export democracy to Yemen. (His reporting from Kosovo back in 1999 remains a model.)
How could anyone read Steve Fainaru's dispatches from Iraq and not view soldiers on the ground, and the reporters who cover them, as heroes -- sacrificing personal safety and comfort to serve the rest of us? (Hat tip to Joel Achenbach for some of the prize-winning links.)
"When you're talking to your neighbor over the fence, there's going to be some moderation in what you might say. But when you're looking at a computer screen, there's not that curb." -- John Dagenhart, president of the Trinity Park Neighborhood Association, Durham, N.C., referring to discussion on the neighborhood listserv about the behavior of Duke University lacrosse players and the alleged rape that occurred at a house on Buchanan Blvd, The News and Observerreports. Trinity Park has a very active online presence. In addition, Durham activists have set up a Durham Responds announcement list; a discussion list; and organizing list to address "root cause issues such as racism, sexism, misogyny, alcohol culture, paternalism, economic exploitation, athlete impunity, and Duke's (lack of) accountability to the community."