Radically Inept
Monday, November 29, 2004
  Just some questions & a little rambling

Alright, I guess I should put just the questions first, sort of...

Has Communism been defeated or discredited, or both, or neither? For just a little bit of context of how I'm asking this question: No country has practiced communism. None. Zero. Zilch.

There have been oligarchies with centrally planned economies, but I can't think of a single incidence of a truly communistic government beyound the level of governance found in monastaries, convents, kaputzes, and, like, hippie attempts. So, I as far as I can tell, there really hasn't ever been a defeat of communism because, on the nation state level, it has never existed.

So, this is a real question; I'm up for insights and opinions. Also, should our current system fail, which at the rate our national wealth is being looted and squandered might be sooner than we think, what system would you want to replace it? A Meritocracy, mayhaps? Lets put it this way - what form of government would you like to see, and what form of government do you think would be acheivable?

The second question I found, surprise, watching C-SPAN. I found myself watching an excellent debate: Debate on Confidentiality of a Reporter's Sources(Program ID 184309). It turns out Judith Miller may being going to jail for not revealing who told her about Valerie Plame, although she herself never published the information. Robert Novak on the other hand, did publish the information, but he apparently is not facing incarceration for failing to reveal his source (the same?). Nice article here: Robert Novak - The hollow center of the Plame Affair. By Chris Suellentrop

Oh, the question is should the law protect journalists from having to reveal their sources?

The two main arguements being:

For: No one would come forward to provide the information if they didn't believe that the journalists could shield their identities, and hence the public would lose access to valuable information.

Against: How would you know if the sources were even real, or determine the credibility of the information without gaining access to the source(s)? And Joseph DiGenova, famous - Washingtonpost.com Special Report: Clinton Accused - for his involvement in the Clinton scadals, did list the guidelines the government had to follow to force a reporter to reveal their sources. [I can't find a simple list quickly, but I did find this - The Reporter's Privilege - though this appears to be biased toward privilege.] The list seeemed reasonable to me.

In the end, I could see the potential for abuse either way, and I don't think I would support a journalists privilege to the degree that I support doctor/patient or lawyer/client privilges. But at the end of the debate, the crowd at Boston University certainly felt those protections would be justified.

Oh, yeah, the real question: Are bloggers journalists? This came up in the debate, and according to wiki:
A Journalist is a person who practices journalism - that is, who creates reports as a profession for broadcast or publication in mass media such as newspapers, television, radio, magazines, documentary film, and the Internet.
And according to that definition it would appear so. Would you like to be able to sheild your sources? Do you in fact have 'sources'? I know some blogger most certainly are practicing 'journalism', but I can't say that most of the stuff I write would qualify...On the otherhand, some of it might...And I guess I do have a few 'sources' that I protect, but not based on any criminality, really, more based on the idea that being associated/named with this blog, might not be so could professionally.

Lastly, I have to get some stuff done, but I will probably post a little science tonight. Also I plan to edit my links list. It's grown longer than I think is useful, and it contains links I no longer even visit. This is not necessarily a slight against those blogs that I'm going to de-list, but a matter of time and my ability to absorb information. I mean, you hit one source on a good piece, and you start following the links to more information on the subjects, especially lengthy, in depth articles and reports, well, then my time is shot. So, I will be adding a link to Josh over at Remain Calm, and a couple of others, but I think I will be removing far more and hopefully get the list pared down to something I can manage, and try to instill a sense of community. Oh, if you are reading this, you are probably not the the de-list list. It's going to be more like Kevin Drum and Atrios. I don't visit there at all anymore. It's not that I don't think they are good sites, but they are generally, I don't know...I just haven't visited either site in months.

Gotta go...
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