Benjamin Melançon's blog

What did you call me?

[This will be posted on Idealab soon, but as I am ahead on my blogging for a change (and behind on all my other work as usual), I'm putting this out for review and revision. First and most pertinent question: Do I say anything worth saying?]

My kind of hate list

As far as I can tell the nonprofit-person-media connector he's launching is proprietary and for-profit, when it needs to be the opposite, but I like Gregory McHale.

So far, based entirely on his I hate blog category.

It's mostly complaining about bad products, such as Microsoft Vista. (Bad Vista!)

Every Nonprofit Tries to Give People Information, which is Power

[Cross-posted at Idealab]

At this year's SalesForce.com Foundation gathering, "Innovation for Nonprofit Success," the recurring theme was less the SalesForce software than the broader topic of the social web.  This is to SalesForce's credit; Suzanne DiBianca, cofounder and director of the Foundation, set the tone when she introduced Holly Ross, Executive Director of the Nonprofit Technology Network, as the keynote speaker.

Just Words, Shared

Al Giordano has no patience for spleen spilled over shared words:

The shrieking accusation out of the Clinton camp that Obama somehow “plagiarized” some words about words from (his good friend) Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick Saturday night demonstrates just how stuck in the last century that entire team has been especially since the boys hounded Patty Solis Doyle out of the war room.  [...]

Politics from below

As I've written about presidential politics more than I care to admit, I need to go on the record here, before the sane people willing to run for president lose their first primaries.

Electing a president or getting elected to the presidency are not the ways to bring about long-term, positive change.

Core goal: the most power possible for all people over their own lives.

Trying to put one person in power is not the way to do that.

So borrowing from the Zapatistas, we need a politics from below: a movement that builds power for everyone.

The Long View

[NOTE: I want to make this a blog post on http://pbs.org/idealab -- anything I have to add to it?]

George Salzman wrote:

solutions

My grandfather telephoned me tonight and said I was posing problems that everyone knows about, and what is needed is solutions. What's your point, he asked.

So, my grandfather should have known better. I'm not known for keeping quiet about what I think needs to be done.

But for now two solutions that aren't mine.

One directly media:
http://politifact.com/

Cleveland Plain Dealer: Journalism Ethics means you can't donate to politicians

Jay Rosen blogs at idealab:
http://www.pbs.org/idealab/2007/11/cleveland-plain-dealer-deals-w.html

I comment:

Great roundup!

Unfortunately, many in media share this if-you-engage-in-society-you-can't-be-a-journalist attitude. A session at the Online News Association conference essentially asked "Can a journalist have a blog" (and answered, "sort of.")

Senate Confirms Torture Proponent to Next Attorney General

This is despicable.

It goes on Root Truth because it's so blatantly despicable that the news media should be covering it in a way that conveys its despicableness. But of course the media is a key part of how the despicable and absurd can be presented as ordinary and commonplace. George Orwell's line about imprecise words softening the outlines of hard facts like a soft snow on a garden.

(Actually Orwell's quotation is nothing like that, but it makes the same point.)

Glenn Greenwald puts it this way: "What Happened to the Senate’s ‘60-Vote Requirement’?"

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