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Get FISA Right: on the air in St. Paul!

Get FISA Right logoDuring the past 8 years, the Bush administration listened to Americans’ phone calls and read their emails without a warrant. If elected President, John McCain would do the same.*

Get FISA Right ad, scheduled to air on Fox News in St. Paul today

Update: check out Nick Juliano’s Anti-FISA group targets GOP delegates in St. Paul on The Raw Story

We’ve got at least 9 Get FISA Right ads scheduled to air on the cable news networks during the Republican National Convention. With the live documentation of journalists in handcuffs and demonstrators teargassed and pepper-sprayed in St. Paul, a prime time Fox News ad defending the Constitution for only $123 feels like money very well spent — a great chance to reach all the media looking for convention stories to cover as well as the personal satisfaction of bringing up an issue I know none of the speakers will touch. I know it’s been said a lot recently, but SaysMe.tv’s ability to let individuals air cable ads is really a game-changer.

For Against
Republicans 46 1
Democrats 5 44
July 9 Senate vote on telecom immunity

It’s been a really difficult 8 years for civil libertarians, and although there’s a sense of change in the air and I’m increasingly confident that we’ll win when the FISA battle resumes early next year, nobody at last week’s Democratic National Convention seemed to want to talk about the damage that’s been done to the Constitution. Is it really possible that issues like the Fourth Amendment, the rule of law, and the underlying Nixonian Article II/”unitary executive” theory aren’t going to be on the table this election? It’s appalling on at least a couple of levels. As an American, I really feel like we should get to vote on whether or not we continue a slide into fascism. And as an Obama supporter, how can an otherwise-intelligent campaign throw away such a huge potential advantage?**

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Poetry friday!

Kelly Herrold has her weekly Poetry Friday post up on Big A little A , with tons of good links and more in the comments. My brother Gregory K’s posted (with permission of course) an original J. Patrick Lewis poem, A Sixth Grader Sees the Future … for those who don’t know the kids poetry world, this is a Big Deal.

Here’s a haiku I wrote about a month ago, and had previously posted in the Original Poetry thread at Seducersworld.

cool windy spring sun.
thoughts of you: two walks, two states.
cool calming spring clouds.

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Best baseball movie ever? Don’t delay, vote today!

MLB.com says, “It’s March, time for madness and brackets and… baseball movies!” Fans can choose “the best baseball flick ever” from 64 possibilities in four categories — Comedy, Drama, Old School and Left Field.

My brother’s movie, Little Big League, is in “Left Field”, up against The Hank Greenberg Story in the first round, and then either Ken Burns’ Baseball or The Bronx Is Burning in round 2. Tough bracket; pity he didn’t draw Sandlot 2. Still, Little Big League has a lot of fans; what kid doesn’t dream of inheriting a baseball team? So it’ll probably come down to demographics: will the youth vote turn out?

Voting closes March 27 … that’s today! What are you waiting for?

Update, March 28: Field of Dreams beat Major League in the championship; The Natural and Pride of the Yankees rounded out the final four. Alas we can’t find the results for individual brackets, so no idea if Little Big League made it to the Sweet Sixteen or even Elite Eight before its Cinderalla story came to an end …

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Kinetic 3, at the Pacific Science Center

Dancing with the dinos … how cool is that?

Infinite Connections does a great job with these parties.  As always,  nwtekno has the details.  I’m psyched!

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“If Ann Coulter had liveblogged the Gettysburg Address”

by Mark Kleinam on The Reality Based Community:

Old Abe is approaching the podium, looking even more like a badly-dressed and ill-proportioned scarecrow suffering from a depressive disorder than he usually does. I mean, if you’re going to be an empty suit, couldn’t you at least find a suit that fits?

And as usual, he’s not wearing an American flag lapel pin. Too good for it, I suppose. Probably thinks it’s tacky, and that “real patriotism” doesn’t have to be displayed. Typical intellectual arrogance.

and much more, with Ann providing line-by-line commentary

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Oddaptation: Horton Hears a Who

My brother, aka Gregory K of Gottabook (best known for his Fibs) also does Oddaptations, which he describes as “Cliff’s Notes/Spark notes of picture books… but with some attitude (and rhyme) thrown in.” Here’s the start of his latest, which I’d describe as something of a Seussian mashup:

HORTON HEARS A WHO
by Dr. Seuss
Oddaptation by Gregory K.

Every Who down in Who-ville liked Horton a lot,
But a sour kangaroo and some monkeys did NOT!
They all hated Horton, who claimed there were houses
And Whos on some dust that was too small for mouses.

More on Gottabook, including the ending one reviewer described as “genius”.

Go, bro!

jon

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Yahoo!?!?!

Todd Bishop’s Microsoft goes after biggest buy ever to catch up with Google in the Seattle PI has the most common framing:

Could a PC software giant and an Internet icon join forces to take on the Web search king?

That was the big question Friday as Microsoft Corp. stunned the online world with a bid to buy Yahoo! Inc. for nearly $45 billion in cash and stock — a blockbuster proposal that could reshape the industry by combining two tech veterans in a battle against search leader Google.

Steve Lohr covers similar ground in Yahoo Offer Is Strategy Shift for Microsoft (no, ya think?) in the New York Times.

Analyst Henry Blodgett’s take: “This is a brilliant move by Microsoft–a big premium dangled in front of battered Yahoo shareholders, but a price that would have seemed absurdly low as recently as six months ago.” who da’ punk is more skeptical, but keeping his mind open:

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Notes from underground: Resonance

Tonight, in SF!

resonance flyer

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Birthday wishes to …

Google’s home page is bricked up, the requisite Slashdot thread is up, and Gizmodo’s got a great timeline of “50 years of building frenzy” … which can only mean one thing:

Happy birthday, Lego!

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My “interventions” are admired!

From Moderator’s closing statement in The Economist’s debate on social networking technologies in education:

I also admired the interventions from JON PINCUS, who pointed out that supporters of the motion underestimated “the risks that the new technologies will in practice reinforce (rather than counter) existing negative biases and trends in the educational system”. He also thought that opponents of the motion were “generalising from very limited experience with social networking technologies—and don’t seem to view this as a problem.”

Both of these points strike me as useful, and true. I would only add that I suspect many supporters of the motion have been generalising from limited experience, too.

I don’t have a lot of experience with the Oxford Debate 2.0 format they’re using. Does this mean I get to say “hi mom”?

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This just in: failure is now an option

WASHINGTON—In a stunning reversal of more than 200 years of conventional wisdom, failure—traditionally believed to be an unacceptable outcome for a wide range of tasks and goals—is now increasingly seen as a viable alternative to success, sources confirmed Tuesday.

And there are likely to be significant consequences:

Overturning one of America’s most cherished and oft-repeated aphorisms is expected to have far-reaching implications for the future of human ambition. Some predict that a majority of the U.S. populace will now opt out of its previous obligation to give it 110 percent, and, in the coming weeks and months, give as little as 45 percent. For underachieving Americans, that number is expected to drop to as low as 5 percent by March.

The Onion has the rest of the story.

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DA who sent ‘amorous’ and racially charged messages to drop arson charges against Texas Supreme Court Judge

Now that’s a story you don’t see every day!

A Texas Supreme Court justice and his wife were charged on Thursday in an arson fire that destroyed their suburban Houston home last June, the judge’s lawyer said.

But in a bizarre reversal, prosecutors plan on Friday to seek dismissal of the indictments against the justice…

It appeared, the lawyer said, that a grand jury had voted the indictments precipitously over the objection of prosecutors.

District Attorney Charles A. Rosenthal Jr., who has been fending off calls for his resignation over amorous e-mail messages to his executive secretary and other sexually explicit and racially charged messages, issued no statement.

Good thinking on the ‘no statement’ part.

Update on January 18: it’s not just any DA, it’s the guy who defended the Texas law that criminalized homosexuality in Lawrence v. Texas at the US Supreme Court!

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