Podcast 26: Season One Finale – “Summer Strategies”

  <span><a href=”http://soundcloud.com/darkhorsedispatch/podcast-26-season-1-finale-summer-strategies”>Podcast 26: Season 1 Finale – Summer Strategies</a> by <a href=”http://soundcloud.com/darkhorsedispatch”>darkhorsedispatch</a></span&gt;


Remember Those Warrantless Wiretaps?

I thought some readers might find this article from Wired magazine interesting.  There was, rightly I believe, great concern from civil liberties groups regarding the use of warrantless wiretaps during the tenure of the previous administration.  You might remember that several telecommunications companies released information to the government and then Congress granted these same companies protection from being sued.  It might surprise some to know that the Obama administration is trying to block the release of emails that dealt with the drafting of the legislation to grant this protection to the telecom companies.  A change of administration does not always mean a change in legal positions.


Podcast 15: Senator Brown and the Politics of the Filibuster

Letter from Birmingham Jail

Martin Luther King Jr. calls on white clergymen who say they are with him, to act like they are with him:

You deplore the demonstrations taking place in Birmingham. But your statement, I am sorry to say, fails to express a similar concern for the conditions that brought about the demonstrations. … It is unfortunate that demonstrations are taking place in Birmingham, but it is even more unfortunate that the city’s white power structure left the Negro community with no alternative.

One of the basic points in your statement is that the action that I and my associates have taken .in Birmingham is untimely. …  Frankly, I have yet to engage in a direct-action campaign that was “well timed” in the view of those who have not suffered unduly from the disease of segregation. For years now I have heard the word “Wait!” It rings in the ear of every Negro with piercing familiarity. This “Wait” has almost always meant ‘Never.”

You express a great deal of anxiety over our willingness to break laws. This is certainly a legitimate concern. Since we so diligently urge people to obey the Supreme Court’s decision of 1954 outlawing segregation in the public schools, at first glance it may seem rather paradoxical for us consciously to break laws. One may won ask: “How can you advocate breaking some laws and obeying others?” The answer lies in the fact that there are two types of laws: There are just and there are unjust laws. I would be the first to advocate obeying just laws. One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. I would agree with St. Augustine that “an unjust law is no law at all”

I must make two honest confessions to you, my Christian and Jewish brothers. First, I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to “order” than to justice; … Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.

Never before have I written so long a letter (or should I say a book?). I’m afraid it is much too long to take your precious time. I can assure you that it would have been much shorter if I had been writing from a comfortable desk, but what else can one do when he is alone for days in the dull monotony of a narrow jail cell, other than write long letters, think strange thoughts and pray long prayers?

Ooh, snap!

As they say, read the whole thing.


What I’m Thankful For…

On this holiday where we gather with family and friends to eat and remember why we are glad that we only see some folks once a year, I wanted to share some of the things I am thankful for:

I am thankful for whiskey.

I am thankful for flasks that can be hidden in coats at family gatherings.

I am thankful for the fact that Levi Johnston is in Sarah Palin’s life.  It just makes me laugh.

I am thankful for this

I am thankful for the (few) times that we have open, thoughtful debate by public officials on important issues.

Did I mention whiskey?

I am thankful for the rule of law.  (Unlike some of our current office holders.)

I am thankful that Red Sox pitchers and catchers report on Thursday, February 18th.

I am thankful for my fellow Dark Horse Dispatch members. (I needed to say that…they are a fragile bunch!)

I am thankful for politics because it is important and fun.

Did I mention flasks?

Thanks for reading the blog and Happy Thanksgiving!


Playing Cards in Prison

There is an interesting article in the New York Times today about decks of playing cards used in prisons in South Carolina.  The cards show victims of unsolved crimes and ask the inmates to come forward with any information.  The program is used in several states across the country. While no crimes have been solved in South Carolina yet, this is the type of innovative idea that can, and eventually will, lead to solving some of these cold cases.


Rupert Murdoch is Thinking Small

Rupert Murdoch has a new strategy, and it’s small-minded. It appears that the media mogul is toying with the idea of blocking Google’s access (i.e., omitted from search results) to News Corp’s content, and charging users a fee to view the subject matter. According to Murdoch, the Web is so big that advertising doesn’t pay off. It’s a matter of supply and demand and Murdoch doesn’t think there is enough advertising to go around. This would obviously result in smaller audiences, but he is banking that those who stick around will pay a toll to see News Corps’ content.

Here is Rupert Murdoch explaining his vision of the Internet.

News Corp is an enormous enterprise, but it amounts to only a teeny-weeny, itsy-bitsy sliver of the Internet. Why pay for News Corp content when you can get ALLLLLLLLLLL of this other stuff for free?  Murdoch’s latest move signals an empire in decline.  As individuals increasingly turn to blogs (like the Dark Horse Dispatch) and alternative media for information and entertainment, media giants are beginning to strain under their own weight.  As Jarvis Coffin of Huffington Post explains:

Online there is, in fact, plenty of advertising to go around allowing many, many publishers to feel like they are making serious money. The Internet landscape is dominated by those publishers, and collectively they are changing the rules, agreeing to work for lower prices and agreeing to be positively delighted with sales results that wouldn’t keep News Corp in corporate jet fuel for a week.