Monday, January 24, 2005

Bump on a Blog

Posted By on Mon, Jan 24, 2005 at 8:53 PM

Readers here who are themselves bloggers and who perhaps blog about life at work from time to time may find worthwhile this article in Monday's San Francisco Chronicle on the work-blog intersection. There have been a few recent high-profile examples of bloggers fired for things they write about their jobs; a writer named Curt Hopkins has been offering up their tales of woe and intrigue at Morpheme Tales. There was also a report on fired bloggers on the NPR/Slate radio program "Day to Day" last week. People sometimes forget that in the land of the free, you check your First Amendment rights at the door when you enter the private sector workplace.

The Art of Projection

Posted By on Mon, Jan 24, 2005 at 6:59 AM

There is an article in this morning's Tennessean regarding the TCAP tests in which teachers who dislike the tests voice their usual complaints. Almost invariably, they couch their complaints in terms of the alleged effects of the tests on the students, as though the students are sitting up at night tearing their hair out over the same kind of achievement testing regimen we all had to to go through (it's called "school" for a reason). Are they really? Probably not, because these tests--unlike, say, the ACT or the SAT, don't really affect them personally, at least not in any real way they would notice. The quotes from students in the story are actually pretty tame.

If teachers don't like the tests, they need to state their own reasons only instead of projecting their feelings onto students just to make their statements sound more palatable to the public.

But judge for yourself.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

The Gov and the Gordon

Posted By on Sun, Jan 23, 2005 at 12:56 PM

The Sunday Tennessean's front page account of negotiations between Phil Bredesen and Gordon Bonnyman over TennCare badly misses the underlying reality that led Bredesen to start throwing people off the health insurance rolls. Reading the story, you get the impression that Bredesen proposed softer, gentler measures that Bonnyman rejected, leaving the governor no choice but to go with harsher cuts.

But the reporting here is based in large part on an exchange of letters between the two that the newspaper has (commendably) made available online for all to see -- and if you read those letters you get a rather different impression. Bonnyman clearly said he was willing to talk about any and all reform possibilities, but declined to endorse the governor's specific proposals because they were focused almost exclusively on deep cuts in benefits and eligibility. In a Dec. 28 letter, Bredesen said "the solution at this stage unfortunately lies only in either significant benefit reductions, my preferred approach, or significant enrollment reductions" and accuses Bonnyman of having taken the "position that there was nothing further to talk about." Bonnyman's lengthy reply in a letter on Jan. 6 makes it clear that Bredesen has both misrepresented TJC's supposed intransigence and selectively ignored legitimate alternative approaches to the TennCare mess.

Don't take my word for it; read the documents. They make the governor look haughty and mulish.


Shorter Maureen Dowd

Posted By on Sun, Jan 23, 2005 at 6:58 AM

This is essentially the same column I've written over and over for the past four years but since all I ever do is take potshots at George Bush loyal readers of the Times won't have a problem with it.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Shorter David Brooks

Posted By on Sat, Jan 22, 2005 at 12:17 PM

"Words speak louder than actions."

(Free subscription required. Try username: "bugmenot123"; password: "bugmenot")

Friday, January 21, 2005

Down by LAW

Posted By on Fri, Jan 21, 2005 at 6:19 PM

In 2002, Lee Ann Womack went just a little too far. Her album Something Worth Leaving Behind was a little too poppy, and its attendant photos and video just a tad too glammy (remember the ginormous cleavage shot that screwed up traffic around the West End Tower?), and when pop radio proved not interested, Something (despite its charmingly laid-back '70s vibe) was deemed a flop. She was deemed by many to have at last gotten above her raisin'. Last night Womack formally declared her bid for a country comeback in an invitation-only show at the Ryman, during which she performed her entire new, not-at-all-poppy album There's More Where That Came From in its entirety. The format, more suited to rock operas than cheatin'-lyin'-redemption-rinse-repeat, suggested serious intent, and the music, especially toward the end of the 12-song cycle, occasionally justified the sense of import. That the formalism -- twin fiddles, steel guitar and a program that cutely listed Womack as "soloist" and the band as "The Players of Instruments" -- was never stifling is a tribute to Womack's talent and taste, which are both gloriously intact. If There's More Where That Came From (out February 8) doesn't wind up somewhere in the top 10 of this paper's Country Music Critics' Poll, I'll eat a copy of the (available) vinyl version. Which, incidentally, features the year's most perfect cover art.

"I should have known something was up," he said. "She had all her teeth."

Posted By on Fri, Jan 21, 2005 at 5:29 PM

This isn't really newsworthy...but it is funny.

And this isn't really funny....but it is newsworthy.

And this is both funny and newsworthy. We can be extra proud of this one because it takes place in Tennessee.

I figure a nice balance of senseless filler, important scientific findings and embarrassing stories about Tennessee make for a good post.

Have a good weekend, folks!

what is it?

Posted By on Fri, Jan 21, 2005 at 3:49 PM

I love this guy.

PhilWatch '08

Posted By on Fri, Jan 21, 2005 at 2:51 PM

Well, he's on the cover of the New Republic.

Spongebob Squarepants

Posted By on Fri, Jan 21, 2005 at 2:43 PM

Sorry, Dr. Dobson, but no self-respecting gay man I know would ever be caught wearing white athletic socks--with stripes no less!--all the way up to his bare knees.

Just saying.

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