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The Longest Now

Africans and Railroad Porters 4 Clark
Saturday September 27th 2003, 7:35 pm
Filed under: chain-gang

Clark jumps to the top of my shit list.  How sharper than a serpent’s tooth… 

First there was the way the Official draftclark movement kept trying to supporess the popular draftclark movements that sprung up around him (“either funnel support to us or stay out — you guys are gonna screw things up!”).  That was creepy. 

Then there was the standard “look at all the independent minority sites not affiliated with my campaign, honest supporting me [without any personality, history, or aparent user base]”.  Par for the course; nothing I can do about it; shady but not awful, as long as they are all aloof and polite.   Now I’ve run into the AADL, an organization which has magically come into existence mid-September solely to support Clark, but insists that it is a separate League, encourages separate donations to it and to the Clark campaign, and still has little more personality, history, or user base than any of the other EZ-grow Chia-pet support groups. 

And it’s so tactless!  Their front page features a far-too-prominent MLK photo, and contains such gems as this section header:

Porter Service to Our Links

emphasized by a old black-and-white image of a black porter.  This clearly isn’t insulting anyone, since Regina Mullen (producer of the site and owner of litigation data services) isn’t the kind of person to insult her target audience, but it seems a bit … out of place.  Again, I hardly think she has anything to do with the content or running of the site.

You are also asked on the front page both to donate directly to the Clark campaign and to donate to the AADL “if you want to support our goals”.  Presumably you can donate as much as you like to the AADL (“Do you like our mission and goals?“)… Of course their single goal at present seems to be directing attention towards Clark’s campaign.  

You’d think that with hundreds of thousands of dollars on the line, the campaign could afford to at least have a pleasant, personable face with some individual style… It’s not merely the raw venality and impoliteness of the site, but the utter artlessness with which it is all put together, that chaps my hide.

Heroism, heavy and lite
Saturday September 27th 2003, 4:18 pm
Filed under: indescribable

I wrote about an incredible American superhero a while back.  Recently I was reminded not to leave the Brits out of the mix… but notice how they don’t take themselves seriously?  No wonder Johnny English wasn’t a big action blockbuster.

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Topless Thief
Saturday September 27th 2003, 1:22 am
Filed under: popular demand

A woman in Battersea, England, says she was “shocked” when a thief grabbed her handbag and ran, in part because the thief was a woman, and in part because after grabbing the bag, the thief then turned around to face witnesses and pulled up her top to expose her breasts before running off. The thief was described as a brunette wearing a blue track suit with a white top. “Why she did it is anyone’s
  idea,” a police spokesman said. (South London Trinity Mirror)
[but who remembered her face?]

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Dean campaign owns up, prefer DD to KK
Friday September 26th 2003, 10:59 pm
Filed under: chain-gang

Ugh, so disgusting (but happy birthday, Nicco!).  I don’t want any of you voting for a Dunkin’ Donuts supporter, y’hear?  And somehow I don’t think Kerry or Gephardt or (Hillary or) Clark even like donuts.  Bring back Bill!

Dean campaign owns up, prefer DD to KK …

Cataloger’s Revenge
Friday September 26th 2003, 10:21 am
Filed under: chain-gang

Do we really need to taunt the dead? Well, after a long day in the stacks…

Cataloger’s Revenge …

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Dangerous Ideas
Thursday September 25th 2003, 1:14 pm
Filed under: chain-gang

Sounds like quite a course.  Hey there, norville.

Dangerous Ideas …

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A Glorious Life, II
Monday September 22nd 2003, 6:04 am
Filed under: indescribable

Notes from Second Life is absorbing, amazing, and awe-inspiring, with a hint of neverending spice, Atlas Shrugged, and Realware.

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Zionists, Women, AA for Dean?
Monday September 22nd 2003, 3:52 am
Filed under: indescribable

Funny thing about the Dean campaign — everyone loves them; the Roswell aliens, young neoconservatives, Bush family members, hardcore Zionists, African-Americans… Visit blogforamerica right now, and you’d find seven Featured Sites in the sidebar, comprising

  • 1 official Dean-community tool site [chatforamerica]
  • 2 unofficial blogs by hyper-active Dean support groups [generation dean, deancore]
  • 3 unofficial, well-cared-for niche support sites [latinos, seniors, republicans]
  • 1 painfully official, stale brochureware support site [african americans]

Which of these sites is not like the others? Hmmm. is bizarre in a few ways:

  • it has almost no content related to, or of special interest to, african americans; just a generic 500-word note position statement on affirmative action, among a raft of 20 Dean position statements.
  • it has no activity; no blog, news log, or other regularly updated page.  just a link to a yahoo! group which gets 150 messages a month — nontrivial, but still very low traffic (these are chatty posts, not usually content-rich announcements)
  • it has no voice, only flat passionless language; I doubt any african american has ever touched the site, despite the original blogforamerica post announcing its genesis [rumour has it, it was set up / is maintained by an african american southerner, but if so she hasn’t gotten around to adding any personal touches to an out-of-the-box site].  When I first saw it, my immediate reaction was to look for its clone sites; LatinosforDean, ZionistsforDean, etc; happily it does seem to be one of a kind.  
  •  it’s not as if there is no alternative site by and for african americans who support dean! blacksfordean, for instance, has a number of interesting points to make, and a well-done FAQ that gets right down to why the Black community should pay any attention to Dean.

    Here are some quotes from the truly wonderful followup comments to the initial announcement of this site (which apparently hasn’t change an iota since August 7):

    I kicked myself in the leg ( 🙂 )once I saw that website. I had just grabbed to start building a similar site. But it’s great…It’s just even more sign of the energy behind Dean winning in 2004!
    [note that blacksfordean, now an elegant and functional site, isn’t even in the list of ‘unofficial sites’, two months later]
    I am excited to be an African-American female Dean supported and glad to see more outreach for African-Americans. I’ve been clipping Dean info interesting to under represented Dean constituencies like African Americans and sending it to friends and family because there was no central place to get info. Thus I have a file of info to share and would like to receive info from others. To date have info on Dean statements on Liberian aid, speeches to NAACP, Urban League and Latino groups (love the fact that he did them in spanish, statements on social justice for all, Dean on talkin about racism to whites as well as minorities etc. There is good info and his potitions are strong you just have to do a bit of extra work to compile them. – patrice nelson
    This is a comment any minority-supporting candidate would die for. Did it get further coverage, say a direct quote in the main blog? I must have missed it. Did any of the materials Ms. Nelson mentions get collected on or any other official site? If so, they’re remaining very well hidden.
    To win over any “community” — preferably the American community — the candidate will have to speak in a way that cuts like a knife through all groups and sectors and factions in a way that resonates with human beings and citizens. That is what draws me to Dean – and I have begun to worry over the last few weeks about the new campaign style (over substance). Dean with his sleeves rolled up with machinists, Dean embracing African american, etc. Dean needs to do what Dean does best: remain direct, rough around the edges, and offer a dose of fresh air to the American “community”… – brownie

    I couldn’t say it better. I feel the campaign is evolving this way month by month. Being beholden to a set of political advisors who think it’s too dangerous to be direct and rough around the edges, is little better than being driven by polls or special-interest groups…

    What was the campaign thinking? Why don’t they have at least one full-time staffer who oversees translating content into spanish, keeping minority-support links and materials up to date, etc?

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    Clark campaign goes crazy.
    Saturday September 20th 2003, 2:28 pm
    Filed under: fly-by-wire

    Really, really crazy. Let me start with my favorite recent quote, from one of Clark’s volunteer staffers, as reported in one of the homepublished draftclark2004 articles (emphasis mine):

    “I trust Wes. Wes has served 34 years. This is not something to be the culmination of a political ideal or dream. This is a continuation of a desire to serve our states,” said Ingram, who had to pause as he began to choke up.

    On the sane side, he has a 100-year visition that is far better balanced than the 20-year visions by our very own 2020dems.
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    Clark-Clinton returns
    Saturday September 20th 2003, 11:34 am
    Filed under: indescribable

    Tech Central Station likes my pick (check the 2nd-to-last par of the article) for the DNC nod from three months ago: Clark-Clinton.  And the NY Metro thinks they’d make a great couple. Of course it’s not too late for Clinton to decide to wait another four years. However, her Senate seat shouldn’t be the sticking point; she would have to both win an uphill battle for her next election [from a June poll:  Giuliani 56%, Clinton 39%], and she would probably drop out of the NY reelection to prepare for 2008 anyway.
    On the other hand, breaking her pledge to server out her term might cost her ticket the support of NY, a major state.

    It’s gonna be a doozy of a race.  Clark’s vital stats have hardly changed at all since then; he’s still quietly pushing his nominal association with his tiny engineering startup, making the same lecture circuit, talking about the same issues, carefully reigning himself in…

    Clark-Clinton returns …

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    Nate rides again
    Saturday September 20th 2003, 10:52 am
    Filed under: chain-gang

    [Current world standings: Nate Ackerman around 20th.]  Hot dog.  Approaching the single digits…

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    Kicking Ass
    Saturday September 20th 2003, 10:29 am
    Filed under: null

    H*ly sh*t.  What are they thinking?  Also, briefly: “Uh.

    Kicking Ass …

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    Political Jobs for Machine Communicators
    Tuesday September 16th 2003, 2:00 am
    Filed under: chain-gang

    Well-defined requirements; I’m pleasantly surprised.

    Political Jobs for Machine Communicators …

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    NASA : The bigger they are… ouch.
    Monday September 15th 2003, 11:58 am
    Filed under: fly-by-wire

    NASA : The bigger they are… ouch. …

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    Glorious Brooks Article.
    Monday September 15th 2003, 11:41 am
    Filed under: chain-gang

    Glorious Brooks Article. …

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    Dean-Clark chats publicized more and more
    Thursday September 11th 2003, 5:29 pm
    Filed under: chain-gang

    ‘Dean asks Clark to join his campaign… if Clark doesn’t join the primary race.’

    Dean-Clark chats publicized more and more …

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    Holy Girl Scouts, Batman!
    Thursday September 11th 2003, 12:38 pm
    Filed under: chain-gang

    Thin Mints, straight out of the OVEN.  I’m speechless.

    Holy Girl Scouts, Batman! …

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