Saturday, February 28, 2009

MOTHER, MAY I?

The House in Congress would like to ban bloggers and other freelance journalists from protection to not reveal confidential news sources. The specific language is in HR 985 IH, The Free Flow of Information Act of 2009, is

"COVERED PERSON- The term `covered person' means a person who regularly gathers, prepares, collects, photographs, records, writes, edits, reports, or publishes news or information that concerns local, national, or international events or other matters of public interest for dissemination to the public for a substantial portion of the person's livelihood or for substantial financial gain and includes a supervisor, employer, parent, subsidiary, or affiliate of such covered person."

The gist of this legistlation is that if a blogger has a confidential news source that informs about a crime, then the blogger could be jailed if the news source is not given up to the police or other appurtenances of the law. The Senate bill, S 448 IS, does not define the term journalist so explicitly and merely states that a

"COVERED PERSON- The term ‘covered person’--

(A) means a person who is engaged in journalism;

(B) includes a supervisor, employer, parent company, subsidiary, or affiliate of a person described in subparagraph (A)".

There are obvious unconstitutional aspects of the House legistlation. The language in the House legistlation seems to make it fit for parents of adults to supervise their offsprings' blogging (?)and to define that a journalist is someone who works under the auspices of a corporation. The term is paternalistic in that it forces adult journalists to beg for their right of speech or to be chained to a company if they chose to pursue action against corruption. This proposed law stifles the press' free accumulation and dissemination of knowledge. President Obama, who publicly has championed a more accountable White House and administration, needs to put up or shut up on his shtick about government transparancy. If Obama gives his imprimatur on the House law, he has lost his game.

The legislation, besides the dictatorial machinations from the House, is a neon sign with bold caps that people in Congress DO NOT UNDERSTAND TECHNOLOGY or are afraid of what this new realm purposes. They are old nags, in the information marketplace, that should not be put out to pasture but should speed dial Do Not Pass Go on a one-way trip to the knackers.

Information is currency. I'm a blogger and have not derived much standard revenue from my blogs but I think of blogs as a form of currency in the information marketplace. What the House in Congress does not percieve or fears is that information is as valuable as cash on the Internet. This is the new exchange rate that those who are out of the technological loop do not comprehend. For example, I trade information with people in my "social" networking groups. Information, for a writer, is currency. A person cannot buy material objects with that form of exchange because money still has that necessary role but received knowledge can buy access to other people who will in turn use or circulate the "coinage" of data. These knowledge exchanges, and the attendant accountability that comes with the rise of bloggers and citizen journalists, is what frightens the House authors of this legistlation. The law should not go to President Obama's desk because it goes against the interest of government transparancy, free speech, and the continued livelihood of Internet journalism.

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Saturday, February 21, 2009

HAPPY BIRTHDAY ALAN RICKMAN













I am writing this greeting as a matter of perforce to the anniversary of Mr. Rickman's birth but I am less enchanted with the handsome one's career. Bottle Shock was a mistake and died a well deserved, boozy death. I can't remember it making it past the first week in the theatres. I show my biases. I don't drink alcohol and I consider each land jolt that moves California to the bottom of the Pacific Ocean, from the battle between Thunderbird and Whale of Native People's mythology, a great blessing.

Rickman's next roles are a mixed lot. He is a randy professor in Noble Son which, from the reviews sounds less than dull, and the Caterpillar in Alice in Wonderland. Ooooh... I am eagerly awaiting the latter. He can smoke my hookah anytime.

Er...where was I? I had to write the sentence about the Caterpillar three times over because I got somehow off track.

I think that Mr. Rickman needs a serious talk with his agent about suitable roles for his talents. How about Rochester in Jane Eyre. Or Branwell in a drama about the Bront√ęs ? These roles would be suited to his acting, not a prof chasing undergrads. A mashup, however, between Noble Son and Harry Potter has distinct possibilities. Maybe Hermione could change the old goat, well, into a chastened Bovidae.

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Saturday, February 07, 2009

SWEETIE, WE ALL DENY IT



Vladimir Putin has denied getting funky with the ABBA tribute band Bjourn Again at one of his parties. Spokespeople for Prime Minister Putin have refused that the judo black belt holder was grooving to 'Super Trouper' and raising his hands at 'Mamma Mia' during the £20,000 ($29395.82) gig.

Aw....fess up, Vlad. Your dacha has a disco ball and you wear bling down to the navel of your white spandex suit. Just part of ah, ah, ah, staying alive, politically.


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