Restarting this blog

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A couple of years ago, I chose to put this blog into hibernation. With so many other projects going, I really didn't have the time to take care of yet another site. So I started blogging on Posterous instead, but that had its own problems. Then I tried Tumblr, which is nice, but had other problems.

So now I'm back, waking this blog out of its long sleep. It will take a while to get it fully going, but I hope to be adding to it regularly very soon.

Big changes

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Wow, it's been quite a week. First off, I "retired" from the newspaper business after having worked in this industry since age nine. I have created a company with my friend Steve Reynolds call Response Associates, and will be helping local businesses take advantage of the web to promote their products and services. I also plan to pick up some political writing work as the campaign season nears.

A year ago, I had to quit actively posting to this blog due to being moved into another position at the Nevada Appeal. But now I'm free to write whatever I want, and I have so much pent-up ideas I don't know where to start.

For several years, I've had this blog at kirkcaraway.com. To get the features and control that I wanted at the time, I had to build it in Drupal. It's worked fine, but now there are many services such as Posterous that do all the things that I need, without me having to worry about all the software updates, hackers, etc. These tools also allow me to connect the blog with my Facebook page and Twitter account.

So I am in the process of moving my blog over the Posterous. I am still waiting to see if they can import my old blog posts before I move the domain name, so for now KirkCaraway.com will remain online with links over to kirkcaraway.posterous.com.

Hope you can all come over to see me there. Thanks.

Free is cool

Last night, I installed the free Kindle app on my iPhone, so I could download the free e-book by Wired magazine editor Chris Anderson, titled "Free: The Future of a Radical Price." I pretty much proved his point before I even read any of the book.

Debunking the 'Drift toward Socialism' myth

Conservatives in this country have latched on to this attack that the Obama administration is pushing us toward socialism, often tinged with enough paranoia to qualify them for their own custom-fit tinfoil hats.

Most often the attacks contain no facts. So here are some facts for them. The U.S. Government has nationalized $82.3 billion in corporate and business assets. Big number, huh? But it makes up only .21 percent of all corporate and business assets in this country, which add up to $39.2 trillion.

For those afraid of the U.S. turning into the next North Korea, the government would have to keep up this nationalization push for the next 100+ years to get there.

In other words, chill. Your paranoia is showing.

Is Sotomayor a racist, or is Rush Limbaugh an idiot?

I guess that Rush and his buddies are too stupid to read. They are taking a single sentence of a speech by Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor out of context and branding her a racist. Maybe they should read the entire passage:

… Whether born from experience or inherent physiological or cultural differences, a possibility I abhor less or discount less than my colleague Judge Cedarbaum, our gender and national origins may and will make a difference in our judging. Justice O’Connor has often been cited as saying that a wise old man and wise old woman will reach the same conclusion in deciding cases. I am not so sure Justice O’Connor is the author of that line since Professor Resnik attributes that line to Supreme Court Justice Coyle. I am also not so sure that I agree with the statement. First, as Professor Martha Minnow has noted, there can never be a universal definition of wise. Second, I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life.

Let us not forget that wise men like Oliver Wendell Holmes and Justice Cardozo voted on cases which upheld both sex and race discrimination in our society. Until 1972, no Supreme Court case ever upheld the claim of a woman in a gender discrimination case. I, like Professor Carter, believe that we should not be so myopic as to believe that others of different experiences or backgrounds are incapable of understanding the values and needs of people from a different group. Many are so capable. As Judge Cedarbaum pointed out to me, nine white men on the Supreme Court in the past have done so on many occasions and on many issues including Brown.

However, to understand takes time and effort, something that not all people are willing to give. For others, their experiences limit their ability to understand the experiences of others. Other simply do not care. Hence, one must accept the proposition that a difference there will be by the presence of women and people of color on the bench. Personal experiences affect the facts that judges choose to see. My hope is that I will take the good from my experiences and extrapolate them further into areas with which I am unfamiliar. I simply do not know exactly what that difference will be in my judging. But I accept there will be some based on my gender and my Latina heritage. …

How hard would it be to take Limbaugh quotes out of context in this same way and portray him as, well, an Obama loving liberal?

Idiots.

The paid content debate that will not die

As newspaper publishers get more desperate, they keep going back to this thing about charging for content.

Now Dean Singleton jumps all in. But he trots out this stupid justification:

First, we continue to do an injustice to our print subscribers and create perceptions that our content has no value by putting all of our print content online for free. Not only does this erode our print circulation, it devalues the core of our business - the great local journalism we (and only we) produce on a daily basis.

Hey Dean, I've got news for you. You have never charged readers for your journalism at any one of your papers. Not once. In fact, you PAY your readers to take your news. Sure, they buy subscriptions and pay for papers on the newsstand. But that money isn't enough to pay the costs of printing and delivering them.

If Dean really thinks his journalism is worth charging his readers, why isn't he raising his subscription prices? Yea, let's see him do that.

Jeff Jarvis also rips Dean a new one.

Banks in trouble

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Do you remember the story about how the big bad government forced Wells Fargo to take TARP funds they didn't want? Take a look at who is second on the list of the most troubled banks. Perhaps the Wells Fargo execs were more worried about their own compensation packages than their bank's health when they were making those noises about TARP.

Michelle Bachmann redefines stupid

Sorry, but this is just too good to pass up. The fact that a member of Congress could be so historically illiterate is astounding:

As a matter of fact, the recession that FDR had to deal with wasn't as bad as the recession Coolidge had to deal with in the early 20s. Yet, the prescription that Coolidge put on that -- from history -- is lower taxes, lower regulatory burden, and we saw the "Roaring 20s," where we saw markets and growth in the economy like we'd never seen before in the history of the country. FDR applied just the opposite formula. The Hoot-Smalley Act [sic], which was a tremendous burden on tariff restrictions. And then, of course, trade barriers, and the regulatory burden and tax barriers. That's what we saw happen under FDR that took a recession and blew it into a full-scale depression. The American people suffered for almost ten years under that kind of thinking.

Where do we start? We can start with the fact that the recession Coolidge dealt with wasn't even close to what FDR faced. The stock market didn't crash during the Coolidge administration, the GDP did not collapse, the banking system was still intact and he didn't inherit a 25 percent unemployment rate. The depression started in 1929, and didn't start turning around until 1933, the year FDR became president. If you want, go look up the GDP numbers yourself.

And that "Hoot-Smalley Act"? The Smoot-Hawley Act was signed into the law by Republican Herbert Hoover, and is named after Sen. Reed Smoot and Rep. Willis Hawley, both Republicans.

Somewhere in Minnesota, a village is missing its idiot.

"I have a dream"

It's been 41 years since one of the greatest agents of change was gunned down by someone afraid of that change. I think back to those days when I was a child and realize I was born into a different world than the generation before. I was six days old when Dr. King told America about his dream for a better nation. Only when patriots like him step up will this nation attain the lofty goals set forth by our founding fathers. I, too, have a dream.

"GOP senators say Obama off to bad start"

Headlines like this make it impossible not to respond.

Bad start? Let's review for a minute. Obama got almost exactly the stimulus bill he first proposed, and the polls show Americans approve of the job he's doing by almost 70 percent.

The GOP congress critters on the other hand have approval rates at half that. Oh, they whine, Obama wasn't bipartisan enough! Really? Obama gave the GOP their tax cuts, which made up 37 percent of the final bill. What did the Republicans bend on? Nothing, nada, zip. They had no intention of negotiating in good faith. And now they are trying to spin this as a defeat for Obama, and the suckers at CNN are buying their BS.

After eight years of GOP games, the American people aren't buying it anymore.

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