Archive for January, 2005

Tennessee Photoblog

Monday, January 24th, 2005

I put up a couple pages of photos taken at various Tennessee locales, all shot with my little Sony DSC-P41.

Dan Rather, news reader

Monday, January 10th, 2005

Here are a few quotes from the report of the independent review panel on the 60 Minutes Bush National Guard story that was based on forged documents. These quotes make it clear that Dan Rather’s defense is that he is just a news reader, not a real reporter and that he doesn’t really have any idea if the news he reads is true or not. I’ll buy that.

Rather gave Mapes significant responsibility to produce stories, in part due to the great confidence and respect that he had for her work, and in part due to the demands of Rather’s other duties at CBS News. In late August and early September 2004, as the September 8 Segment was being developed, Rather had even greater demands on his time than usual as he was covering the Republican Convention in New York City and then a hurricane in Florida. Thus, he was not able to spend extensive time on the development of the September 8 Segment.

Rather does not appear to have participated in any of the vetting sessions or to have even seen the Segment before it was aired.

Rather made clear that the blame for the airing of the September 8 Segment lay with 60 Minutes Wednesday personnel.

The correspondents at 60 Minutes Wednesday who have other responsibilities, including Rather, tend to delegate significant responsibilities to their producers.

Rather had only a vague recollection of speaking to Mapes either late on Thursday, September 2, or early on Friday September 3, but said he could not recall the specifics of the conversation as he was focused on getting to Florida to cover Hurricane Frances.

Rather did recall at some point learning Lieutenant Colonel Burkett’s name and knowing that he was a “key source” but not necessarily the source of the documents. He also said that he did not know before the broadcast that there was another source.

Rather, however, recalled only that Mapes told him she had the documents and did not recall speaking to Lieutenant Colonel Burkett or Van Os prior to the broadcast of the September 8 Segment.

Rather said that he did not spend much time going over the documents with Mapes…

Surprisingly, Rather did not attend any of the pre-air screenings.

The Reasonable Man

Friday, January 7th, 2005

I think this is an important article. I know, I know, it’s in National Review, and it’s by Jonah Goldberg, who is a conservative. Nevertheless, I recommend this article, wholeheartedly, to my few remaining liberal friends. It’s about the “reasonable man” concept in Supreme Court jurisprudence, originated by Oliver Wendell Holmes, and how this concept has not only been lost, but, at the same time, has perverted judicial thought. This sounds kinda esoteric, but it isn’t. It goes to the heart of many current, very important dilemmas.

Cutting the Fat

Banned in Redmond?

Thursday, January 6th, 2005

Every day the Just Opinions blog gets crawled by half a dozen or more search engines, like Google, MSN, Ask Jeeves, etc. The two big ones are of course Google and MSN. They regularly hit the site at least once a day. A week ago, while browsing through the logs, I noticed that someone had come to the site from the internal Microsoft corporate network. That’s interesting, I thought. I wonder what they think of my post, which is featured in the sidebar, entitled “God, I hate Microsoft”?

Ever since that day, the MSNBot has not been back. The last time it crawled the site was January 2nd. When I type “God, I hate Microsoft” into Google, Just Opinions comes up at number three. When I type “God, I hate Microsoft” into the MSN search box, Just Opinions doesn’t come up at all. I think I’ve been banned.

This would be typical of the Microsoft philosophy of we know what’s good for you, like it or lump it. They still don’t get the web. The search engine that will ultimately prevail is the one that is the most honest. Censorship and paternalism are not what people look for in a search engine, or, for that matter, in a browser.

UPDATE: Whoops! MSNbot just crawled me on Jan. 7. So I guess I was just being paranoid. The bot must have been on vacation over the holidays.

Greeter Falls

Saturday, January 1st, 2005

C. and I went to Greeter Falls today, over by Beersheba Springs. It was in the 60’s, a balmy, beautiful winter day. Here are some pictures: