Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Palin Mangles History, Laughs and Hijinks Ensue

Though I am reluctant to offer any more mention of the Endless Publicity Machine which toils on behalf of half-term Governor Quitter, aka, The Palinator, aka The Deluded Alaskan, aka Sarah Palin, her recent bizarro world account of the 'ride of Paul Revere' has prompted a revision of Revere's legend via the Atlantic Monthly and it is mighty funny.

Written by Jeffery Goldberg, it's a spot-on satire of the Huckster from Wasilla.

LISTEN, my children, and you shall hear
Of the early evening ride of Paul Revere,
On the twentieth, or twenty-first, of May, or possibly June, in Seventy-six, or maybe Seventy-seven;
Hardly a man is now alive
Who refudiates that famous day and year.
He said to his friend, while ringing those bells, 'We must see the French a-coming
By land or sea or some other way, maybe by air, from the town to-night,
And tell our British friends, and our British enemies,
And warn them of bears, the big majestic polar bears, that lurk amid the French a-strumming
Their mandolins, and other French instruments, that make a patriot so squirmish.
Shoot a flare up at Lexington and Concord,
Those fabled towns of New Hampshire and Vermont
Where General Lee made his valiant stands;.
And no one will take that flare gun away from me,
Not from my cold, dead hands.
Of that church, you know the one, with the name, whatever it's called, up in the tower as a signal light,--
One, if by land, and two, if by air;
And I on the opposite shore will be, in a very large bus;
That is painted so patriotically;
And I will ride my white steed so fair.
Then I will ride a Harley, that I was pulling on a trailer behind the bus, and spread the alarm,
Man, I love the smell of that emissions
That smell is freedom, carried by horse,
Through every Middlesex village and farm,
Not horse emissions, chopper emissions.
But horse emissions are very patriotic.
And I will warn the British that the British are coming.
Which should confuse them very much.

Then he said, 'Good-night!' and with shotgun in hand
Silently rowed to the Charlestown shore, that Last Frontier,
We were rowing because the outboard motor didn't work, thanks to the EPA;
Just as the sun rose over the Mighty Mississippi,
Where swinging wide at her moorings lay
The Somerset, British man-of-war;
Which sounds a little gay;
A phantom ship, part of our hollowed-out Democrat Navy
Across the moon like a prison bar, where we should lock up all the French,
And a huge black hulk, that was magnified, by Fox,
And by its own reflection in the tide, not the detergent, but the water that comes in from the sea in waves, I'm not sure how exactly.

Monday, June 06, 2011

Internet Access A Basic Human Right?

Access to the Internet is a basic human right - so says a report to the U.N. focused on the "promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression".

While noting that for many people in the world, access to electricity is still a prohibitive issue, the report makes bold claims about the fundamental changes which Internet access has sparked worldwide and what changes are yet to take place -

the Internet is one of the most powerful instruments of the 21st century for increasing transparency in the conduct of the powerful, access to information, and for facilitating active citizen participation in building democratic societies.

Indeed, the recent wave of demonstrations in countries across the Middle East and North African region has shown the key role that the Internet can play in mobilizing the population to call for justice, equality, accountability and better respect for human rights."

An LA Times article adds:

"La Rue describes the Internet as "revolutionary" and unlike any other communication medium such as radio, television or printed publications, which are "based on one-way transmission of information."

The Internet, on the other hand, is an "interactive medium" that allows not only for the sharing of information, but also "collaboration in the creation of content," which makes people "no longer passive recipients, but also active publishers of information."

As such, the Internet can be a tool of empowerment and aid in the protection of and access to other human rights -- as well as contributing to growth economically, socially and politically -- benefiting mankind as a whole."

We are still far too inexperienced to say just what this type of global and personal expression and creation can provide. But we are absolutely in the early moments of a revolution in how the world communicates. Protecting and nourishing this technology and the freedom it offers is a monumental task.

But is Internet Access a basic human right?

Get Tenessee Political News via Out of The Blue

I've been looking for a good opportunity to feature the daily newsletter from editor Trace Sharp (aka Newscoma), Out of The Blue, which started a few weeks back and today's edition is a prime example of why you should sign up to receive this must-read. Out of the Blue is the brainchild of Mike McWherter and you can sign up for their Daily Buzz and get a wide range of political news and views right here.

Selections from today:

  • A letter to the editor in the Tennessean asks state government "what is next for us little people." LINK
  • The caps on the Hope Scholarship will come with a price for some students. Jennifer Brooks writes: "The move will offset the cost of the new summer scholarships, but it's bad news for any juniors who double-majored or switched their majors and suddenly find that the rules have changed on them without warning." LINK
  • Tennessee is ranked 49th in female political participation. LINK
  • Andy Sherr has a list of budget cuts that will go into effect next month. "There will be fewer people protecting Tennessee's groundwater, patrolling its roads or taking care of its most vulnerable people in the budget year that starts July 1." LINK