Philocrites : Scrapbook : June 2005 Archive

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Many bloggers write for pay without disclosure

Quoted 06.30.05:

[Jeff] Cutler, who does not disclose the payment [he received for promoting a product] on his blog, is one of more than 2,000 bloggers whom marketer USWeb enlisted to hawk products and services. That helped the nascent florist double its sales in the first three months and shoot up near the top of Google's search list, according to USWeb.

Yes, corporate America has discovered the blog and found that the grass-roots medium for supposedly unadulterated opinions is also a powerful marketing tool in a country where about 37 million Americans read these online journals. Even the state of Pennsylvania has joined in, offering free vacations to people who blog on its tourism site.

Jenn Abelson, Boston Globe 6.26.05, reg req'd

Blog addict? You probably suffer from 'continuous partial attention'

Quoted 06.30.05:

[T]he conversation [at Supernova] was thick with concepts and terms that may be familiar to those who marinate daily in the blogosphere, but are novel to those of us who are still retrograde enough to read (or write for) an ink-on-dead-trees publication. Let me try to explain a few . . .

Scott Kirsner, Boston Globe 6.27.05

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Oops: Patriots owner accidentally gives Super Bowl ring to Putin

Quoted 06.29.05:

New England Patriots Super Bowl championship ringAt a meeting of American business executives and [Vladimir] Putin on Saturday in Russia, according to Russian news reports, [New England Patriots owner Robert] Kraft showed his 4.94-carat, diamond-encrusted 2005 Super Bowl ring to the Russian president, who, after trying it on, put it in his pocket and left.

Donavan Slack, Boston Globe 6.29.05, reg req'd

Gov. Romney appoints wife Massachusetts Relief Society president

Quoted 06.29.05:

Describing Ann Romney's unpaid job, he said she will help provide information and resources to the groups to help them navigate through the process of obtaining federal funding.

Previously, Romney had assigned a deputy chief of staff to oversee the effort.

Frank Phillips, Boston Globe 6.29.05, reg req'd

Friday, June 24, 2005

Gays welcome outreach by churches: Cite Unitarians for efforts to end prejudice

Quoted 06.24.05:

[O]n the road to being seen "like everyone else," some gay and lesbian residents of the [southeast Massachusetts] area have found welcome assistance in Unitarian Universalist churches.

Robert Knox, Boston Globe 6.23.05, reg req'd

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

FBI detains, deports teen for potential terrorist sympathies

Quoted 06.21.05:

When a dozen federal agents plucked [16-year-old Tashnuba Hayder] from her home in a dawn raid on March 24, they cited only the expiration of her mother's immigration papers, telling the family that Tashnuba would probably be returned the next day.

Instead, after two weeks of frantic inquiries by her parents, The New York Times learned that Tashnuba was one of two girls being held, officially on their parents' immigration violations, but actually for questioning by F.B.I.'s Joint Terrorism Task Force.

According to a government document provided to The Times by a federal official, the F.B.I. asserted that the girls presented "an imminent threat to the security of the United States based upon evidence that they plan to be suicide bombers." The document cited no evidence. . . .

After nearly seven weeks in detention, she was released in May on the condition that she leave the country immediately.

Nina Bernstein, New York Times 6.17.05, reg req'd; via The Revealer

The AO/Technorati Open Media 100

Quoted 06.21.05:

AlwaysOn and Technorati are pleased to present the first annual "Open Media 100," the power list of bloggers, social networkers, tool smiths, and investors leading the Open Media Revolution.

Tony Perkins, AlwaysOn 6.21.05; via The Blog Herald

Monday, June 20, 2005

Are pro-choicers serious about responsibility?

Quoted 06.20.05:

Maybe pro-lifers will call NARAL's bluff with a Responsibility Act. But I think NARAL has called its own bluff already. Its latest ad proposes a "campaign to reduce the number of abortions." Its platform, as drafted in the poll, says, "The goal is to reduce the number of unintended pregnancies and therefore reduce the need for abortions." That's the first time I've seen NARAL call abortion reduction the goal. Are pro-choicers serious about responsibility? Now we can measure the answer, through the abortion rate.

William Saletan, Slate 6.10.05

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Legal guide for bloggers

Quoted 06.16.05:

The goal here is to give you a basic roadmap to the legal issues you may confront as a blogger, to let you know you have rights, and to encourage you to blog freely with the knowledge that your legitimate speech is protected.

Electronic Frontier Foundation 6.8.05

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Why the law shouldn't bend over backward for religious employees

Quoted 06.15.05:

[The Workplace Religious Freedom Act of 2005] would replace the current legal standard for religious accommodation with one similar to that applied to the disabled. Employers are required to accommodate disabled employees (by modifying facilities, reassigning jobs, or changing work schedules) unless doing so would cause the employer undue hardship. There are good reasons, however, to distinguish religious observance from disabilities. Religious employees forced to decide whether to honor a religious belief or stay at a job face a difficult choice, to be sure. But people with disabilities have no choice at all. In the absence of a wheelchair or seeing-eye dog, many of them can't work.

Richard Thompson Ford, Slate 6.13.05

N.J. court: Constitution doesn't recognize right to same-sex marriage

Quoted 06.15.05:

The ruling said legislators will have to change laws before same-sex couples can marry in New Jersey.

"However, absent legislative action, there is no basis for construing the New Jersey Constitution to compel the State to authorize marriages between members of the same sex," Appellate Judge Stephen Skillman wrote for the majority.

AP, Boston Globe 6.15.05, reg req'd

Boston ministers, City Hall expand anti-violence campaign

Quoted 06.15.05:

Determined to avoid a repeat of last year's bloody summer, clergy are taking the lead in targeting 14 crime hot spots across Boston with nighttime walks, community meetings, and prayer vigils, ministers said yesterday.

Suzanne Smalley, Boston Globe 6.15.05, reg req'd

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Meet the moderate and progressive Evangelicals

Quoted 06.14.05:

Nancy T. Ammerman, a professor of the sociology of religion at Boston University, said that [many Evangelicals] . . . occupy a great "muddled middle" in which they see some of their concerns — abortion and homosexuality, for example — reflected in conservative politics but don't see an equal reflection of their commitment to biblical ideas of social justice.

"When you look at the polling data," she said, "you've got these people who are anti-abortion and pro-environment and concerned about poverty, and, you know, they're all evangelicals, and what are we going to call these people?"

Alex Johnson, MSNBC 6.9.05; via Paul Wilczynski 6.14.05

The G.O.P.'s 2 1/2-ton Ten Commandments headache

Quoted 06.14.05:

As Republican strategists weigh the party's prospects for 2006 and 2008, they are increasingly worried about a political confrontation with Roy S. Moore, the former chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court who became a hero to religious conservatives when he refused to follow a federal court order to remove a Ten Commandments monument from the state's judicial building.

Nina Easton, Boston Globe 6.14.05, reg req'd

Thursday, June 9, 2005

Against absolutism in politics, left or right

Quoted 06.09.05:

I’m with Madison and Arendt in believing that absolute truths—moral or otherwise—have no place in politics. Liberalism is about trying to limit the damage that such truths do in the public realm. The Republicans are split between their self-righteous religious right and their pro-business wing. They have never nominated an outright Christian right candidate; they haven’t gone that far yet. Our very democracy would be at stake if such a candidate won, because politicians who act from moral certainty, from the sense that any and all opponents are beyond the pale because morally reprobate, have no patience for and no commitment to democracy’s limitations to power, its provisions for compromise by its inclusion of different viewpoints at the table, and its commitment to the legitimate right of all contending political factions to be in the majority in some instances. . . .

So I would hate to see the Democrats assume a morality-based politics of their own. Yes, politics cannot avoid moral questions; but it must submit such questions to the same messy democratic processes as every other kind of question. Yes, there are times when the individual should say: “Here’s something I will not be part of.” Times when I have to say the majority is wrong. At such times, I—and those who agree with me—undertake the rhetorical task of convincing that majority that they are wrong.

John McGowan, Michael Bérubé Online 5.28.05

Wednesday, June 8, 2005

14 North Carolina churches form progressive alliance

Quoted 06.08.05:

"We feel the primary understanding of Christianity in mainstream America is that of the evangelical right," said the Rev. Doug Long, the pastor of North Raleigh United, a United Church of Christ congregation. "We want people to know there are Christians who think of things in a different way."

Yonat Shimron, News & Observer 6.3.05; via United Church News

N.H. Catholic high school seniors don't want bishop at baccalaureate

Quoted 06.08.05:

Their crisis of faith, these Trinity High School seniors say, stems from the Catholic church's handling of the clergy sexual abuse scandal. Specifically, from the role they believe New Hampshire Bishop John McCormack played.

"I feel like he lies about everything," said Barrett, 19, who was among 35 students who grilled McCormack at a meeting Friday. "I feel like I can't look up to him as a leader."

Barrett isn't alone in her sentiments. Nearly half of her fellow graduating seniors at Trinity High School are protesting McCormack's intent to preside over their baccalaureate Mass tonight.

Rebecca Mahoney, Boston Globe 6.8.05, reg req'd

Monday, June 6, 2005

A mini-guide to megachurches.

Quoted 06.06.05:

Hannah Lobel, 6.2.05

Sunday, June 5, 2005

The natural life cycle of a blog.

Quoted 06.05.05:

Min Jung Kim 5.31.05, via Blogpulse 6.3.05

Saturday, June 4, 2005

Evangelical pundit: Church is too feminine

Quoted 06.04.05:

 Book Cover: Why Men Hate Going to Church Why Men Hate Going to Church can be pretty trying. Its descriptions of "real men" and "soft males" read like stories of the stereotypical war of jocks versus nerds. Most of Mr. Murrow's examples involve grown-up although still rather adolescent jocks. And the only nerds he takes seriously are the unfortunate pastors, who as a class he finds altogether too verbal and sensitive, even tending "to have lower testosterone levels than other men." . . .

Among the pastorally inclined, even those most opposed to his dream of a testosterone-driven church might glean some sensible ideas about involving men in congregational life. And it is unquestionably true that the centuries-old, worldwide gender gap in Christian observance demands a lot more attention — sociologically, historically and pastorally.

Peter Steinfels, New York Times 6.4.05, reg req'd [Amazon, Powells]

Friday, June 3, 2005

Blogging becomes a corporate day job

Quoted 06.03.05:

A small but growing number of businesses are hiring people to write blogs, otherwise known as Web logs, or frequently updated online journals. Companies are looking for candidates who can write in a conversational style about timely topics that would appeal to customers, clients and potential recruits. . . .

Currently only 4% of major U.S. corporations have blogs available to the public, according to a recent survey by eMarketer, a New York research company. But ads for blogging jobs are popping up on online job boards in recent months.

Sarah E. Needleman, 5.31.05; via Blog Herald

Thursday, June 2, 2005

No room for dissent in Catholic journals?

Quoted 06.02.05:

The Catholics [America] spoke to, and often for, are loyal to their tradition but also understand, as the philosopher Michael Walzer has put it, that "traditions are sites for arguments." Traditions stay alive by nurturing a spirit that is at once loving and critical. If every question is kept open, there are no answers. But if too many questions are closed, the answers the tradition offers become steadily less compelling, less fresh and less persuasive.

"Tradition is the living faith of the dead," wrote the great religious historian Jaroslav Pelikan. "Traditionalism is the dead faith of the living." Father Reese stands for a living faith serene enough to argue with itself. I worry that's why he was asked to leave his post.

E.J. Dionne Jr, Washington Post 5.31.05, reg req'd; via Jesus Politics

Wednesday, June 1, 2005

Democrats have lost the white middle class

Quoted 06.01.05:

Rather than being the party of the middle class, Democrats face a crisis with middle income voters. The 45% of voters who make up the middle class -- those with household incomes between $30,000 and $75,000 -- delivered healthy victories to George Bush and House Republicans in 2004. But even these solid Republican victories mask a greater underlying crisis for Democrats: among the largest middle class demographic groups in America, Democrats lose to Republicans by towering margins.

Third Way, quoted by Garance Franke-Ruta, Tapped 5.31.05