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Wow, shouldn’t I be blogging?

In my nonblogging antsiness, I can’t seem to resist the inclination to correct the faux indignation of a right-wing blogger.  (I posted two or maybe three comments there). The thread is illustrative. The blogger initially had a (weak, IMHO) point to make about tolerance, and the comment thread devolved into irrational name-calling. Why bother trying to jump into the fray?  Sometimes you have to take the bait.

For the record, I haven’t been blogging as often, though I still write as many comments on forums and websites as I used to.

Here’s a use for google docs. Copy all your Net comments with URLs in a single Google Docs. In fact, I’ve been using Google Docs for a lot of things recently:

  1. for storage of notes/correspondence/evidence for a lawsuit
  2. for change notes to a blog
  3. for travel/contact information which I shared with certain information
  4. for database info/upgrade documentation for Teleread
  5. storing blog comments
  6. keeping track of customer service contacts (for the sake of getting warranty help, etc).
  7. copies of software licenses
  8. keeping monthly track of my credit card balances and bank account.
  9. Keeping drafts of my resumes

Oddly almost the last thing I use Google Docs for nowadays has been group editing of docs. What I like about Google Docs is the ability to share docs and the ability to view/revert to previous versions of a document. (Also having a datestamp on changes is useful for legal documentation).  Privacy issues concern me somewhat, as the fact that Google Docs is free and unsupported. So far, I haven’t stored anything of critical importance–although the fact that old versions can be restored is comforting.

With regard to politics, how happy I was to discover rediscover Hilzoy’s posts  about straw man arguments about regulation (isn’t that like communism?). In addition to blogging for Washington Monthly, he also crossposts on Obsidian Wings. I still stay happy with Matt Yglesias who provides enough punditry to keep me happy. (see his post about the expected surge in defense spending).

Pentagon officials have prepared a new estimate for defense spending that is $450 billion more over the next five years than previously announced figures.” To be clear, that’s not $450 billion over five years that they’re asking for. Nor is it an additional $450 billion over the next five years on top of what they’re currently getting. Rather, it’s $450 billion over five years on top of currently scheduled increases. Currently, U.S. defense spending is scheduled to increase from $515 billion (not counting “emergency” spending on Iraq and Afghanistan) in 2009 to $527 billion in 2010. The new proposal would up that increase to $584 billion.

What’s going on?

Rogan quotes one former senior budget official explaining the estimate as “a political document.” Its purpose is to set up “the new administration immediately to have to make a decision of how to deal with the perception that they are either cutting defense or adding to it.” In other words, anything less than a $69 billion nominal increase will be portrayed as a cut. And it would be understandable if a new president — viewed skeptically by most of the officer corps and lacking a strong mandate on national security issues — chose to shy away from opening his administration with such a fight.

More Palin fun

BLITZER: Another question. What are your new ideas on how to take the Republican Party out of this rut that it’s in right now? Give me one or two new ideas that you’re going to propose to these governors who have gathered here in this hotel.

PALIN: Well, a lot of Republican governors have really good ideas for our nation because we’re the ones there on the front lines being held accountable every single day in service to the people whom have hired us in our own states and the planks in our platform are strong and they are good for America. It’s all about free enterprise and respecting the …

BLITZER: Does that mean you want to come up with a new Sarah Palin initiative that you want to release right now.

PALIN: Gah! Nothing specific right now. Sitting here in these chairs that I’m going to be proposing but in working with these governors who again on the front lines are forced to and it’s our privileged obligation to find solutions to the challenges facing our own states every day being held accountable, not being just one of many just casting votes or voting present every once in a while, we don’t get away with that. We have to balance budgets and we’re dealing with multibillion dollar budgets and tens of thousands of employees in our organizations.

(These two paragraphs strike me as incomprehensible.  Runon sentences is the kind of thing celebrities and politicians quickly learn to avoid; it’s surprising (and yes, endearing) that Ms. Palin hasn’t shaken that habit yet.

{ 3 comments… add one }
  • Mike 11/24/2008, 9:18 am

    Yes, but answers and explanations are Mostly always longer than the questions asked.

    I wanted Obama to win anyways!

  • Gary D 11/27/2008, 4:37 am

    I haven’t been blogging as often because I found I had less to write, by now other people were blogging what I wanted to, and my PC problems that are only recently resolved.

    I also started posting links that would have gone to my blog to Skewz.com, a site like Digg but readers were supposed to rate the articles according to bias. I say supposed to because before the election it became obvious to me the Skewz was itself a slanted site set up to expose liberal media bias with some very questionable practices.* After a short time of not posting I went back to posting as a means of trying to keep them honest or expose them to actual reality based articles. More almost useless debates with conservatives.

    *It became obvious they were manually moving items to the front page instead of an automated procedure. They promoted items to the top spot that had severe submission problems and errors but presented the conservative view. Those promoted submissions came from the conservative with the most posts who is known to the site managers – if he is not in fact a site manager. I strongly suspect they are manually rigging the skew votes as some articles get many more votes than most in short periods of time. I don’t know if it started out more honest and changed when the membership fell well below expectations and many of those who remained were to the left of the founders or if it was always supposed to be a fake biased site rating other online sites for bias. This should probably be a blog post or even an article if I make a few calls.

    This seems like another example of a media critic site like MRC not knowing how to be ethical critics. Bozell’s Media Research Center and Newsbusters don’t criticize mistakes in the media, they usually just disagree with opinions and view everything through a lens where whatever the media does it is an example of insidious liberal bias undermining America.

    Back to your post – Yes, Sarah Palin is endearing in an odd sort of way. She is much better as a conservative voice of unreason than Ann Coulter. She would be very popular with the same sort of people as a pundit or radio or TV host.

    I will have to start using Google docs. I have in the past used PC notebook programs for similar purposes.

  • Robert Nagle 11/27/2008, 5:32 am

    Gary, checking your blog is something I do out of habit. Almost once a day.

    I checked Bozell’s site a few years ago and found it hilarious.

    Skewz sounds like a defective concept on many levels.

    Gary, maybe the reason you haven’t been blogging as often is that….we now have a Democrat in the White House?

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