My Articles for Thursday, August 23, 2007

“Photo of the Day: Night at the East River.” This is a stunning photograph of a man alone, gazing in dark solitude at New York’s East River. The photograph is presented in high-resolution.

[tags: blogs, Photo of the Day, Night at the East River, photo, photograph, New York City]

Grace Paley, the author and social activist who explored in pungent and tragicomic style the struggles of ordinary women muddling through everyday lives, died on Wednesday at home in Vermont. She also lived in New York’s Greenwich Village. Ms. Paley was New York’s first official state author and a poet laureate of Vermont. Photograph and video are included.

[tags: blogs, Grace Paley, Grace Paley dies, celebrities, news, video, photograph, New York City]

The Columbia Journalism Review details how Matt Drudge continues to distort and poison political discourse in the media. Specifically, it details how The Drudge Report fabricated the so-called recent “cat-fight” between Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton, and how his distortions spread like wildfire through the mainstream media.

[tags: blogs, Matt Drudge, The Drudge Report, celebrities, politics, Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton]

See the Rest of My Articles at Blue Dot

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The South Carolina Debate: Glimpses at Issues of Self, Identity and Political Decisiveness

The CNN/YouTube Democratic Debate at The Citadel, Charleston, S.C.

Overview of the Debate

The Washington Post provided this summary overview of Monday night’s South Carolina debate:

“Democratic presidential candidates shared the spotlight Monday night with ordinary citizens from around the country in a two-hour debate that featured sharp and sometimes witty video questions and often equally sharp exchanges among the candidates on issues ranging from Iraq and health care to whether any of them can fix a broken political system.

The debate, co-sponsored by CNN and YouTube, underscored the arrival of the Internet as a force in politics.  The citizen-interrogators generated the most diverse set of questions in any of the presidential debates to date and challenged the candidates to break out of the rhetoric of their campaign speeches and to address sometimes uncomfortable issues, such as race, gender, religion and their own vulnerabilities.

Many questions in the nationally televised session were aimed at the two leading candidates, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) and Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.), and they used the forum to challenge each other more directly than they have in past debates.  But all candidates were put on the spot at one time or another, such as when asked whether, if elected president, they would work for the minimum wage.  Most said they would.

Obama came close to directly criticizing Clinton’s support for the Iraq war in 2002, and Clinton contradicted Obama on a question about whether, as president, they would meet with leaders of foreign governments hostile to the United States.

On Iraq, Clinton noted at one point that she had recently asked the Pentagon about planning for troop withdrawal, only to be accused of abetting the enemy.  Obama then turned praise into veiled criticism of her record on Iraq.

I think it’s terrific that she’s asking for plans from the Pentagon, and I think the Pentagon response was ridiculous,” he said.  “But what I also know is that the time for us to ask how we were going to get out of Iraq was before we went in.  And that is something too many of us failed to do.”

When a questioner asked whether the candidates would meet with leaders of Iran, Syria, Cuba, North Korea and Venezuela during their first year in the White House, Obama eagerly responded that he would.

And the reason is this, that the notion that somehow not talking to countries is punishment to them — which has been the guiding diplomatic principle of this administration — is ridiculous,” he said.

When it was Clinton’s turn, she offered a more measured response, one that suggested she believed her rival had been naive in his answer.  Saying she would not make such a pledge to meet with those leaders in her first year, she warned: “I don’t want to be used for propaganda purposes.  I don’t want to make a situation even worse.”

Readers can access The Washington Post review of the debate in its entirety here.

Beneath the Surface: Glimpses at Issues of Self, Identity and Political Decisiveness

Self and Identity: Questions of Race and Gender

(Click Image for Video)

Obama’s Pre-Debate Video Submission

Barack Obama on Iraq: Decisive Political Conscience in Action

Photo Gallery: CNN/YouTube Debate at The Citadel

(Click Image for Photo Gallery)

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Obama Campaign Raises $30 Million: History-Making 250,000 Donors!

National news sources are reporting early today that Senator Barack Obama’s presidential campaign raised more than $30 Million during the second quarter, which ended yesterday.  That stunning figure even tops Obama’s haul during the first quarter of the year, when he reported raising $25.8 Million.  Further, the Obama campaign has now reached more than 250,000 donors, a quarter of a million people, which makes Obama’s the first presidential campaign in history ever to have garnered this many financial supporters by the June 1st deadline.

Official figures have not yet been released by some of Obama’s rivals for the Democratic nomination, although the campaign of Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., had said it hoped to raise about $27 Million during the quarter.  The campaign of former Sen. John Edwards, D-N.C., is said to have taken in about $9 Million, which was about $5 Million less than his campaign raised during the first quarter.  New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson was close behind Edwards, with his campaign reporting more than $7 Million raised.

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My Articles for Wednesday, June 20, 2007

At the time of his death in 2004, at the age of 83 Richard Avedon was arguably the world’s most famous photographer. There were times in his life, however, when Mr. Avedon worried that people didn’t recognize that he really was an artist. In retrospect, it’s clear that his artistic talent was phenomenal. This article includes music audio, photographs and a photo slideshow.

[tags: blogs]

“Influential Blogger Digby Comes Out: Take Back America”

Netroots blogger Digby, the influential but until-yesterday anonymous political blogger, accepted an award at the “Take Back America Conference” yesterday on behalf of the “Progressive Blogosphere.” Glenn Greenwald wrote about her acceptance speech today in in Salon. A Photograph and video of Digby’s acceptance speech are included.

[tags: Digby, blogger, blog, politics, poitical blog, social issues]

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Historic Antioch College Shuts Down

Antioch Hall: Antioch College, Yellows Springs (OH)

Earliest Known Photograph of Antioch Hall (1852)

Coretta Scott King (’51) Accepts The Horace Mann Award, Antioch (2004)

Glen Helen: The Antioch College Forest Preserve

Antioch College, a 154-year-old liberal-arts institution in Yellow Springs, Ohio, widely known for for its socially activist tradition, will close next year because of mounting budget deficits and dwindling enrollment, college officials announced on Tuesday.

The college in Yellow Springs (OH) is the undergraduate residential component of Antioch University, whose Board of Trustees voted over the weekend to shut the campus down. The Antioch Board members said that it was their hope that by closing the college now, a sound financial state might be restored that would enable them to reopen in 2012. Antioch University also has five nonresidential campuses around the country, all of which will remain open.

Paul Fain wrote in the Chronical of Higher Education:

The decision was agonizing,” said one trustee, Barbara Slaner Winslow. “For many of us, the meeting was like a funeral,” said Ms. Winslow, an Antioch alumna who is an associate professor of women’s and social studies at the City University of New York’s Brooklyn College.

Antioch officials said revenue from the college’s small endowment of $36.2-million and tuition from a projected fall enrollment of 309 students would not be enough to cover budget shortfalls, which have been exacerbated by the cost of maintaining Antioch’s historic campus, in Yellow Springs, Ohio.

We really need a much larger critical mass of students,” said Tullisse A. Murdock, chancellor of Antioch University, noting that only 125 new freshmen were scheduled to arrive next fall. Of the decision to close the college, she said: “Certainly it’s going to be a huge disappointment to our college alumni.”

The trustees also declared a state of financial exigency, which means most of Antioch College’s 160 full-time faculty and staff members will be laid off by July 2008. College operations will be suspended at that point, but a university spokeswoman said an undetermined number of staff members would stay on to maintain facilities. The university will also establish a commission to determine the college’s long-term future, and some staff members might be included on that commission….

Antioch is perhaps best known for its liberal initiatives, such as eliminating grades and a sexual-offense-prevention policy from the mid-1990s that required specific “verbal consent” for every step of intimacy. But the college also has a long list of famous alumni, including Coretta Scott King, Rod Serling and Stephen Jay Gould. Its first president was the education reformer Horace Mann.”

Interested readers can read a detailed account of the closing of Antioch in The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Cary Nelson, Ph.D., Professor of English at The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign writes nostalgically about his experiences as an undergraduate student at Antioch College during the mid-1960s, which you can read here.

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Duke Lacrosse Player Reade Seligmann Testifies at Prosecutor Nifong’s Ethics Trial

Reade Seligmann’s Full Testimony: Prosecutor Nifong’s Ethics Trial

Reade Seligmann’s Full Testimony at Prosecutor Nifong’s Ethics Trial

(Click Image for Video)

Reade Seligmann testified how he was sure that the DNA tests would clear his name.  He broke into tears during his testimony, while he described finding out that he had been indicted and thinking about how he was going to manage breaking that terrible news to his mother.  Mr. Seligmann, 21, gave emotionally moving testimony about the anguish of having to face false charges that interrupted a year of his education and could have sent him to prison for 30 years.

Mr. Seligmann choked up and repeatedly wiped back tears as he described hearing the news of his indictment and telling his parents.  “My dad just fell to the floor, and I just sat on the ground,” Mr. Seligmann said.  “And I said, ‘My life is over.”

Mr. Seligmann recounted how last winter, Mr. Nifong refused to meet with his lawyer who had evidence that he was not even at the party when the assault supposedly occurred.  He said that Mr. Nifong had said he was not interested in such “fiction” and that the district attorney had “smirked” on another occasion when the evidence was offered.

Mr. Seligmann described how people in familiar restaurants, as well as on the Duke University campus, turned against him after the charges were filed.  Mr. Seligmann said people in a restaurant that he used to eat in every day, and who he considered to be his friends, put up a “Wanted” poster showing the entire Duke lacrosse team.

The feeling on campus was as lonely as you can imagine,” he said.

Immediately following the conclusion of Seligmann’s testimony, Nifong voluntarily resigned from his position as the Durham County Prosecutor.  The North Carolina State Bar has charged Nifong with withholding critical DNA test results from defense attorneys, lying to the court and Bar investigators and making misleading and inflammatory comments about the players.  If the Bar’s three-member Disciplinary Hearing Commission decides that he violated ethics rules, he could be disbarred.

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Mike Gravel for President: Or Maybe Just Take a Fireside Nap….

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