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What kind of journalism is this?
They're called the Groovesmiths, and though they are unpublished, I urge you to try to get some of their music. The album is called Demonstration of Intent.
This post is Kaus at his best -- a rare Democrat with common sense and an appreciation of how out of control the party leaders are.
Lefties will paint this as either a story about red state Hitler youth, or about lack of funding for education. The truth, however, is that the problem with civics education is much the same as the problem with mathematics and reading and writing education: it is controlled by greedy teachers' unions that care more about preserving their own power than improving education.
I'd like to see whether non-union schools' students understand civil liberties better. I bet they do.
Now we have the adult children of prominent Democratic politicians slashing tires on GOP get-out-the-vote vehicles in Wisconsin (via Powerline).
I hope the Democrats keep pushing this "stolen election" obsession. When the lights are turned on, there will be a lot more blue cockroaches than red.
This week, the editor of the online version of the Chronicle, SFGate.com, notified me that they had made a "clarification" (since removed, without comment) to the column. However, the clarification just compounded the inaccuracies.
My response follows:
Thank you for your response. However, the clarification was wholly inaccurate and in many ways makes the inaccuracy worse.
First, the clarification continues to insist that taxes would increase for poor families unless they earned less than $36,000. This is not true. The 17% tax applies only to income earned over $36,000 for a family of four, meaning that a family earning $40,000 would pay only $680, and a family earning $50,000 would pay only $2380. In most cases this would mean a tax cut, not a tax increase for these families.
Second, the clarification calls families of four earning less than $36,000 “truly destitute.” In 2003, the poverty line for a family of four was $18,810. Calling a family earning nearly double the poverty line “truly destitute” shows how disingenuous your writers are willing to be in order to make a political point. Indeed, the median household income for African-Americans is significantly less than $36,000. Does your paper want to go on record calling the vast majority of African-Americans “truly destitute?”
I appreciate SFGate’s attempt to correct an error. However, given the extreme inaccuracies in both the original column and in the clarification, a full correction is warranted, both in the online and print editions.
UPDATE: I got an e-mail back from the online editor, saying "We feel no correction is warranted." Not that I asked how they feel. What is the paper's correction policy and how on earth can it justify refusing to correct a demonstrably false statement?
Despite Moffitt's feeling like a correction would be a total bummer, man, SFGate has again changed the online version of the column. They removed the nonsense about the "truly destitute" earning less than $36,000. They also changed Sorenson's assertion that Forbes wanted to raise taxes "for the poor" to "for many of the poor." I guess if Sorenson's definition of "many" is as loose as his definition of "the poor," he might be able to find a way to distort this into being true. There are probably some people somewhere in America making $60,000 or so who might pay more taxes under the Forbes plan. $60,000 should certainly qualify for "poor" in Sorenson's world, if $36,000 is "truly destitute."
In Australia, they are banning cameras from some beaches, because every photographer taking pictures of kids building sand castles or playing in the waves could be a pervert!
Until now. In one of the dumbest business moves in history, Apple is destroying its carefully crafted hipster image by suing a teenage blogger for writing about it. Exit Jack Kerouac. Enter Joseph McCarthy.
Civil libertarians, exactly Apple's target market, are not going to like this. Will Microsoft and Intel become the default choice of the anti-fascists?
UPDATE: Brian Schiau comments below, and has a more detailed post on his blog.
Thanks for your comments on my blog. You raise some good points, but I still think Apple is going to lose this case rather than get a settlement.
You write about ThinkSecret actively soliciting confidential information. I don't think this is any different from mainstream reporters seeking out sources, even when they know the sources are not supposed to reveal information. The entire industry of investigative journalism was founded on people giving up the goods on secretive issues.
Legally, I don't think the court will rule that mainstream journalists have special rights that individual bloggers don't have. Where would they draw the line? Is Kaus a mainstream journalist because Slate is now owned by a big media company? Does $1000/month in blog ads make you a professional journalist? What about journalists for free, alternative dead tree weekly rags in many U.S. cities? Are they more worthy of journalistic freedom than some bloggers? Some people in both groups do amazing journalism.
In fact, under Forbes' proposal, the poor would pay no tax at all. More information on the proposal can be found here.
The rest of Sorensen's column ("They want a return to slavery," etc.) is so ridiculous it doesn't merit a response.
I agree. Federalism is about devolving power closer to the individual -- primarily from the national government to the states, so that states like Vermont can have gay marriage and free marijuana -- but I would take it further. Why not push authority down to cities and communities? The more locally decisions are made, the more people will actually have a stake in politics and their communities.
Power to the people!
But public relations executives said that the government distribution of prepared news segments without on-air disclosures of their origin was a bipartisan practice that predated the Bush administration.
"The Clinton administration was probably even more active than the Bush administration" in distributing news segments promoting its policies, said Laurence Moskowitz, chairman and chief executive of Medialink, a major producer of promotional news segments. After the Government Accountability Office decision last spring, he said, his firm began advising government clients to disclose each tape's nature in its script.
Similar abuses include Insurance Commissioner Chuck Quackenbush appearing in self-promoting "consumer education" ads paid for by California taxpayers, Gray Davis putting his smiling face on letters accompanying tax refunds, and members of Congress using taxpayer funds to send out thinly veiled campaign material.
Now that the much hated Bush has done it, though, the media suddenly is interested, and I hope this will bring about an end to all of these practices.