This print article describes a much different yardstick for success than the Bush administration would have us use, and I thought it important to put it out there: while fewer combat deaths are of course desirable, circumstances on the ground make the calm there tenuous at best. Without a viable political structure, we can talk success all we want; you might want to think twice before you swallow the bullshit that the bragging administration spokespeople put out there.
Cut to this afternoon, when I caught The Situation Room reporting by Barbara Starr, which was, in my view, a gravely limited evaluation of what's going on over there. CNN's own sister magazine is reporting the whole story, but Starr's report - and the ensuing tag by Wolf - focused mainly on troop deaths. So, I fired off the following e-mail:
"To the Sit Room producers: Barbara Starr's reporting about combat-troop deaths was unbalanced and missing important pieces of how the country is still divided down religious and ethnic lines -- which, in *combination* with the so-called "surge," has produced lower fatalities.Does it actually matter that we've only lost 20 troops this month when 2.5 million Iraqis have been driven from their own country, and the ones who are there don't feel safe? This is YOUR reporting in Time, but it is apparently lost on CNN.In future reporting, please read articles like this one:
In it, Bobby Ghosh reports about the four elements that temper, and at worst, make irrelevant, any improvements in conditions there.I am SICK and tired of having CNN and other news outlets serve as an "EST" mouthpiece for the Bush administration ("fifth least", "safest month", "quietest week"). The time for that has come and gone now after pounding the drumbeat for war in the winter months of 2002.You are in effect doing their bragging for them -- you know as well as I do that they do that just fine without Barbara Starr's help.So... go back to the drawing board and pull these other threads into your reporting about combat deaths. otherwise, it's hollow, incomplete... and wrong."
All I'm urging you to do is not fall prey to flat, one-dimensional accounts of progress. And don't settle for a surface understanding (succumbing to highly palatable, simplified "Est" language) when something more meaningful is there when you dig deeper.
Ah yes, it is Violent Affection Syndrome (VAS) at work. See below, and remember, VAS has produced at least one very important (and popular) spinoff in The Daily Slap.
Enjoy, and remember to be good to each other.
The school's story, told today in The New York Times, shows that our best learning begins with the environment and tone we set for our young people and their instructors -- not with quotas and false, pressure-filled benchmarks. The school's "experimental" status, says the NYT, means it is
"more at risk of closing if its students fail to make adequate yearly progress, the standard by which the national education law judges public schools."
In this case, "No Child Left Behind" can actually mean "No child left out."
Take a minute and click through to the NYT article and soak up this unique example of learning, compassion and inclusion.
Merry Christmas and Happy Happy to all today.
And yes, no foolin', this is a guy singing!
I Ran for Justice to help those less fortunate... A 5K race to benefit Atlanta Legal Aid, a group that represents Atlanta's poor in civil cases (since 1924 I might add).
Oh yeah, and I ran to celebrate 5 full years of no Marlboro Lights. Slow and steady, no stopping - and I survived the Virginia Highland hills, too.
Click here for fotos, and you can see I talked someone into snapping my pic post-race.
I'm in the cattle-shot in the beginning, but it's impossible to see me.
I keep begging him for "Pandora" and "Soul Child," but so far no dice.
Alex "Fat Girl" Pollock just recently turned 17 and I've been cataloging her graceful move into canine geriatrics...
I've got YouTube vids of her, as well as this -- a capture of her forked tongue.
Hope you enjoy.
YouTube playlist appears below, with more to follow.
Del Edwards, one of my first friends here in the city when I moved in 1994, died Nov. 13 of melanoma. Del was a 28-year veteran teacher, beloved by his students, family and friends. He is survived by his partner David, who led Del's uplifting and joyous memorial service at the Jimmy Carter Center. I've included some photos from the service -- but they don't do it justice. Del was 53. Go to the AJC story
Sharon Lester, when she wasn't busy running the Piedmont Tennis Center ship, was *always* keeping us laughing. She saw through the expert renovation of PTC, and fought to keep the city and the Conservancy from marginalizing the center and, in essence, shutting it down. Together with Joe and Daryl, Sharon (pictured here with Michael Graham) worked at PTC to inspire and motivate us to be that much better. Sharon was 44. Go to the AJC story
In passing, both Del and Sharon remind us all to love and live every moment. They would want us to... that, and to swing our tennis racquets as hard and as much as possible.
The green renovation of my house has, it seems, some admirers... Lynn Saussy, the landscape architect for "Team Pollock" as we call it sometimes, hooked us up with HGTV's "Groundbreakers" show. Last week they came to the house and did some initial interviewing.
I was, as the saying goes, "a pig in shit." I'm hoping that I'm only on the 2nd of my 15 minutes -- because it was a TON of fun.
Thanks to Mary Grace, Justin and the entire crew for making the day so awesome.
Below is a bad export of one of the movies I took!
"Being a writer is like having homework every night for the rest of your life."
Today, we celebrate three talented musicians/groups who've agreed to participate this year. I'd like to extend personal thanks to them, and an invitation to other artists who share our drive to raise money before the end of the year to donate a CD, signed poster or something else that might raise some cash.
Even a testimonial would help our cause -- please contact me for more info.
Adding this category was a no-brainer this year, given my love of music, performing and taking in live tunes. Check out ARTvision's new music vibe:
The Wayne Fishell Experiment
This year, ARTvision's beneficiary is AIDS Survival Project.
Check in at www.artvisionatl.org throughout the month for some great buying (and giving) opportunities! More in this and other categories soon.
Chaka would be proud.
Meantime, watch for a major update over the weekend, including:
-- An event update
-- Clickable header captures for sale
-- The launch of ARTvision 2007
-- More pictures of me (I've been getting complaints)
-- A new links page
-- More captures, including a full report on my brother's wedding
Stay tuned for more.
The head of the CPSC angrily rebuffs criticisms of LeadPaintGate. Then, revelations of comped trips.
News of collisions and near-collisions at the world's airports. Then, news of sleeping pilots.
The more tired of Iraq we are, and the lower Bush's approval ratings, power continues to consolidate around him.
No mater what your political stripes look like, all of these issues should trouble you.
Is this seriously how we want our government to operate?
(Thumb courtesy of Jupiter Images)
> New Tunes page. With iTunes reviews and a last.fm playlist, the page is a bit livelier.
> Updated Seattle page. The Seattle Pollocks are successful, multiplying and extremely photogenic.
> More YouTube clips added, with Hanson videos to follow.
"There's something incredibly powerful about people who are genuine or authentic," he said, "not just in terms of their sexuality, but in every regard. There is something almost transcendent about it."
If you haven't heard him speak, watch it on YouTube, or below. And if you don't think we still have a problem, just look at the user comments on YouTube -- they'll change your mind about how much work's left to do.
Tonight, our Southern California friends are facing arguably the worst and most destructive, disruptive fires in their history. Keith Olbermann interviewed NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams at the top of the broadcast - Williams hung around to give viewers a more intimate and casual yet confident, personal view of what's going on there.
I used to worship Peter Jennings, and his ABC News field reporters. But today, after living through "The Path to 9/11" and other seemingly odd GOP influences at ABC, I have fully gravitated to the NBC and MSNBC nightly broadcasts. (My TV is, of course, tuned squarely on CNN throughout the day, culminating in The Situation Room.)
I highly recommend them, although Keith's new set doesn't give him enough room to throw his papers.
Just heard on the Situation Room while Wolf was interviewing Maria Shriver. How cool is that??
A group of us, including Chris "Crusty" Haddle, went to Shaun's on Saturday night. His review on AccessAtlanta is spot on:
"While I admit that Shaun Doty is a talented chef, it's too bad that talent didn't get transferred to the operation of his eponymous restaurant. I made a reservation 2 weeks in advance for 8pm on a Saturday night. It was apparent that the hostess didn't have a good handle on the seating because it took us 45 minutes to be seated, even with a reservation. She showed us the table, then walked off. Is it too much to expect a little apology for the wait? Our waiter was apathetic and only mildly efficient. The food was OK, but I was hoping to be "wow-ed," especially by a chef of Doty's caliber. The best part of the meal was the dessert of sticky toffee pudding, but even that was a small portion. Basically, Shaun's is just OK, but I would suggest going during the week. I must say it baffles me why the AJC continuously puts mediocre-to-mildly decent restaurants on their Top 50 List (see Trois...ugh!). This city has so much more to offer."
They really did seem to be in over their heads... but I still think the joint has a lot of potential.
"I'm thoroughly enjoying our discourse on preserving the name and reputation of our beloved Medill School of Journalism... Seems like it's long been simmering, and it makes me proud to be an alum and a subscriber to this listserv. I'm more convinced than ever that Dean Lavine's truncated name and focus change for his Medill is dangerous for the school's place in the J-school universe -- and is coming at precisely the wrong time.
We are now well into our sixth full year of seeing the maddening machinations of a wholly neutered D.C. press corps, with polite hand raising and (what appear to be) unnecessary allowances for a challenged Commander in Chief; we are constantly seeing journalists put in the line of fire and, some would argue, have been complicit in advancing a single line of rationale as we charged off to a devastating conflict (I am still, to this day, angered by CNN's "TARGET: IRAQ" series in the fall of 2002); and our credibility as a profession as a whole is, shall we say, "peppered" by people of dubious credentials and training.
I'm not writing to make a political statement, quite the contrary, so please don't read it that way. Bottom line: Are you satisfied with the quality of journalism you're seeing, and if not, does that make Lavine's change appropriate? The answer is categorically "No."
I'm not surprised for us to have heard from Donna Leff, one of my most prized and memorable Medill professors, due to her leadership on journalistic ethics and law -- a topic that I found gravely lacking in my Medill education. I want us to spend more time on theory and practice, on the "classics," and not be tantalized by how blogs, news feeds and on-demand e-mail have somehow eclipsed the import of traditional reporter training. It's absolutely preposterous.
We also heard from Abe on how we can thankfully count on *at least* keeping the brand name "Medill," due to donors' displeasure. To say I'm relieved is an understatement. To that I'd also add this: we as alums are donors ourselves, and I'm curious if you would hesitate giving back to a school that is seemingly abandoning the very spirit and letter of the journalism law that we signed up for, that many of us are indebted to, both financially and otherwise. I myself will curb all gifts until we re-shift back to what I see is our true purpose.
I've been blogging/getting the word out about this issue for a number of months now, and just recently picked up a Google alert about Jon Friedman, reporter for MarketWatch (where I myself did a rotation at Medill News Service in D.C.), who posted both a written and video editorial on the subject.
The video piece is available here:
The editorial, here:
Friedman refers to Medill as the "Sellout School of Journalism." I agree.
If an alum, a leader in Internet reporting, is impugning Medill's direction and decision-making to lean more in favor of new media, I'd say it's time to rethink what we're doing. Also, the D.C. Rotation for Medill students is a good litmus: What do our news partners -- from MarketWatch to the Lake County News-Sun in Peoria -- think of this rebranding? (Art Janik's "Clairvoyant Journalism" post last month was dead on the money.) Medill's D.C. Web site also has been stripped of any mention of the word, "journalism." Further, Medill's main Web site now looks like it could be a third-rate cable company's Internet splash page -- not one from a storied, respected institution. Hardly any Northwestern purple, and again, no "Journalism."
One last point: Medill needs the IMC and Journalism arms both separate and strong. I was part of the Magazine sequence (Urban Classroom) at Medill and yet I snagged a long-term, corporate-writing gig through the IMC listserv after graduation. I am proof of the unbelievable connection that both arms of our school have. Dropping the "journalism" is just absolutely the WRONG direction -- it will weaken, and has already weakened, that dual-pronged strength we have embodied for coming up on 100 years.
Let's dump the Kool Aid down the drain and return back to what we're known for: real-world, feet-on-the-pavement JOURNALISM. In the coming years we will be called to be even better, more seasoned, at-the-ready professionals in an ever-growing definition of what "journalist" means. If anything, we should redouble our efforts in classic Medill training and not go further down this troubling path."
I've gotten a few great responses -- I'll post them later.
But you wouldn't know it because nobody carried it on the air.
Yes, shockingly, NONE of our local affiliates carried this news conference. NONE. The only local news channel who did, in fact, carry a piece of it, was CNN -- which is not local at all. And even with CNN, based here in Atlanta, with the network's Planet in Peril series coming, they themselves did not stay with Perdue's news conference.
We are three months from our taps running dry, in Atlanta and elsewhere, and ABC (WSB-TV), NBC (WXIA) and CBS (WGCL) *ALL* kept children's programming going. WTF?
We are a city of stations who feel beholden to cover the state of Georgia, instead of focusing more on our great city, so this huge omission. Further, our great TV stations cut into prime time when a mattress falls off a truck on I-85, so WHY in God's name would they not cover this?
Outrageous. Somebody correct me and tell me I'm missing something...
Brenda will once again be exhibiting in ARTvision 2007, with at least two pieces. Stay tuned for more. Make sure to send Brenda congrats.
We had the absolute pleasure of sitting with many of Ted's family members, Rolando, as well as other pals Clarke, Sam, Val and Rebecca. The food was tasty, when we weren't glued to the stage -- and since this photog was six feet from keynote speaker Nancy Pelosi and one table from Tim Gunn, I didn't spend very much time eating!
Ken and Dale and Laurice and Rebecca were all within spittin' distance from us, too. So much fun to be amongst so many familiar faces.
The best way to describe the night is as a "peak experience" - where people came together to hear how hard Pelosi has worked from the beginning on representing her San Francisco constituents in fighting the spread of HIV and AIDS, as well as many other issues. Even some surprise war protesters could not dull the evening.
Once I saw how close I was to Tim Gunn, I was immediately on a mission to meet him and have a good story to tell Penny -- who is a stalker-level fan of Guide to Style. I treated Pen to a tribute page with a collection of pix from my meeting with Mr. Gunn, who gave me some props for my "cream" colored tuxedo. Thanks to Sam for his great shots of that moment, and to everyone for alerting me to the many other photo opps we had throughout the evening.
Thanks also to Ted and Rolando for being such spectacular hosts; to Ted's whole family for being so awesome; and to Rolando and Rebecca for asking me to design the program ad. How in the hell did we keep that a secret??
For more, visit the Kodak Gallery event pictures, as well as the page I loaded on candids. Movie clips to follow...
(ATLANTA – 11 October 2007) ARTvision is pleased to announce a second year of its online art and photography benefit, returning in 2007 with a new beneficiary: AIDS Survival Project (ASP). Atlanta's own ASP is a leader in fostering self-empowerment and enhanced quality of life for people living with HIV, working through advocacy, education, peer support and treatment activism.
With a number of other organizations under its umbrella, ASP works throughout the state of Georgia using community-based advocacy and HIV treatment education.
ARTvision is now known as ARTvision Atlanta, with the intent on enhancing global awareness of ASP and to bring attention to the philanthropic spirit and burgeoning growth of our great city.
ARTvision Atlanta's sales will open on December 1st, World AIDS Day, and conclude on December 31, 2007 - punctuated by Will Pollock's Sixth Annual Gourmet Pizza Extravaganza on New Year's Eve.
ARTvision is now in its Call for Participation phase. If you or someone you know would like to donate a piece for this online art show, or know a potential sponsor, please contact Will Pollock or ASP's Craig Eister via e-mail. More details on artists and sales to follow. - Will Pollock
CNN's Rob Marciano ignited quite a shitstorm a few days ago when he unexpectedly slammed the global view in Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth. Marciano questioned whether or not the strength of recent hurricanes like Katrina could be attributed to global climate change.
CNN apparently got a lot of mail about his comments, and the next day he retreated into neutral territory by examining both sides of the climate crisis argument.
Actually, there's quite a strong anti-climate-change movement out there - in the blogs and elsewhere.
And my thought for this Green Machine post is simple. We as Americans can only be responsible for ourselves and live by example... And yet we're notorious for living in excess, lacking in the ability to self-police or self examine.
Seriously: this is actually a call for cultural change, underscored strongly by natural signs. Some of this climate-crisis blowback is, at best, misplaced, since we should be lessening (read: correcting) our impact on the planet regardless of where the facts point us.
Some of these folks espouse contrarian views for the sake of being fancy assholes... on the way to fat ratings. But hey, Fox Noise needs a reason for being, too.
With its forthcoming Planet in Peril series, Rob's comments are, shall we say, against the CNN grain.
E-mail, the article reads, might be behind much of the miscommunication we have with one another:
"This is becoming more apparent with the emergence of social neuroscience, the study of what happens in the brains of people as they interact. New findings have uncovered a design flaw at the interface where the brain encounters a computer screen: there are no online channels for the multiple signals the brain uses to calibrate emotions."
Shows the irony of the "reach out and touch someone" ads of the past... although I still think that e-communication can be just as powerful, thoughtful and effective when done with care.
(Illustration by Stuart Goldenberg for the NYTimes.)
-- Kleenex, kitchen towels and other paper products are now 100% recycled
-- Transitioning from standard cleaning products to environmentally sensitive detergents of all kinds (dishwashing, laundry, etc.)
-- Using Atlanta's recycling and reducing landfill waste
If Chicago can do it, anyone can.
I'll post with other conservation methods later on. If you have a unique way that you're conserving, let me know, and I'll put it up!
The affliction started with Penny's dog Petey, who was just so hideously ugly that he was, consequently, irresistibly cute -- hence the V.A.S. frustration. For example, you'll often hear me say: "that one is so cute, you just want to slap him/her." It's a natural reaction.
Henceforthwith, for those of you not in the know, V.A.S. has spawned another very important (and entirely popular) Web feature called "The Daily Slap," a section of BentBlog run by my pal Rob. Yesterday I did a "guest slap" of actor Seann William Scott, who, according to recent birthday boy Mattie "Thigh" Moore, turned up at a party with the same affable demeanor we all see in his movies. (SWS has got five flicks in development as of this writing.)
Thigh, pictured at left, with Seann on the right and Joanna Scholl as the "meat in the man sandwich." The photo was snapped at a GQ Fashion Show after party that had all the blogs buzzing. Thanks to Joanna for supplying the picture.
I'm looking into V.A.S. rehab now...
"Dublin, Ireland is the most expensive international market included in the index, with subject homes selling for an average $2.1 million in U.S. dollars. Next on the list is Milan, Italy, at $1.9 million, followed by Rome and Paris at $1.7 million (all in U.S. dollars). Bogotá, Colombia, ranks as the most affordable international market, at $140,100, followed by Egypt's Sharm El Sheikh at $144,896; Charlottetown, Canada, at $157,630; and Granada, Nicaragua, at $158,375. Warsaw, Poland, at $417,760, is closest to the $422,343 U.S. average of all of the foreign markets covered in the latest index."
More Ireland photos to follow soon... promise...
Thanks to Thom, Kim and Jimmy BB for making the company just as awesome as the entertainment. Pics and other videos to follow soon...
This latest incarnation is in the form of Randy Pausch, a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon University. Pausch has terminal cancer and recently gave a speech at that school will blow you away. It's amazing how, through humor, instruction is not only engaging -- but also profound and transformative.
In a culture that is fascinated by Britney's choreography, Lindsay's latest line or which Anna-Nicole ex-lover is sleeping with whom, THIS is what life is about for me. But, as we're reminded by Pausch, humor is one of the most expeditious pathways to healing.
GMA did a piece on him this morning that knocked my socks off, and I found the YouTube link below. The video is nine minutes, and it's worth every minute. Enjoy.
-- Student Tasered in Florida for acting up at a Kerry rally:
Question: why didn't Kerry step in and at least ask the police to stop? he just kept on droning. Did the "officers" need to taser the guy when he was down and cuffed? I don't think so.
Sadly, it's not the first incident of tasering at a U.S. college campus. See another one here.
-- Sally Field censored by Fox at the Emmys. (PS: Fox should not be allowed to broadcast awards shows -- guys, stick to sports.) So, given their penchant for censorship, let's look at the full, uncut version here:
Question: Did Fox do this to protect against fines from the post-Powel FCC, or because of Field's statement against war? Neither reasoning passes the smell test, and I'm twirling. Talk me down from the ledge!
Aside from the fact that I 110% agree with her, I love the fact that Sally is nutty, speaking as a fellow nutty person. I'm going to start watching that show for that reason -- and because they have a few decent gay characters on there as well.
If you're not tuning in to that show each week, you should. It's still one of the best and most thoughtful "round-up" TV storytelling out there.
The Tesla seems like a big step in the right direction (aside from being unbelievably sexy).
With no-bid contracts, waste and corruption causing all sorts of embarrassment here and around the world (New Orleans, Iraq), a "trust us, you'll see" approach is lame. Enjoy. And stay informed!
(Thumb courtesy of Jupiter Images)
The Garden, Parking Deck & Conservancy: Of Two Minds In Midtown
(ATLANTA – 14 September 2007) I’m following the debate over the Botanical Garden’s parking deck, as I hope many city residents are. The work of the Piedmont Park Conservancy has benefited me -- as an investor at Piedmont Crest, a new Park-side condominium development off of 12th street; as an ALTA player out of Piedmont Park Tennis Center; and as a frequent visitor to Park events such as Screen on the Green, the Dogwood Festival and the Dave Matthews Concert.
I am also a paid member of the Conservancy. Their work has, without question, brought this great park of ours forward – and has made it greener, cleaner and more full of life. We are the better for it.
So it’s with a heavy heart that I question the defensive and self-promoting editorial by Debbie McCown, the Conservancy’s Executive Director (“Conservancy openly takes park from blight to bright,” @issue, 22 August). This stuffy piece was the second of the one-two punch I read in the AJC, after a gaggle of attorneys wrote in defense of the Botanical Garden’s independence from city affairs and state Sunshine laws (“Plan will be a boon; Garden has nothing to hide,” Saturday Talk, 25 August 2007). Why are we rehashing this stuff?
Both McCown and Team McBeal are missing the point. We are on a slippery slope when we as a city give ourselves wholly over to the private sector. It’s one thing to source corporate assistance to help create a commercial thoroughfare such as the Midtown Mile; but quite another to give over a natural jewel such as Piedmont Park. Not only have our city planners ceded control of that treasured asset – we are, in many ways, relinquishing the spirit that our residents, our Mayor, our visitors and our city council members have worked so hard to build. As an activist, property owner, journalist and business manager here in Atlanta, I stand firmly behind Mike King’s plainly worded editorial (“Park groups should let sun shine in,” 17 August 2007). It asks, in simple language: Now that the Botanical Garden’s Grecian Army of lawyers has snake-charmed the presiding judge to toss many of the claims brought by Friends of Piedmont Park, just come clean.
Show us how you’ve awarded contracts, to whom, and why; disclose your finances and balance sheets; and give us less lip when we ask you to comply with Georgia’s Sunshine laws. You’re doing the city’s work, the people’s work, even if it’s not coming directly from City Hall. If you’ve given no-bid contracts to friends of the Conservancy, as is rumored, then I want to know about it. And so do a lot of other folks.
Doug Abramson, principal of Friends of Piedmont Park, the advocacy group leading the legal opposition to the parking deck, also says our great gains in beautification have come at a price.
“The Garden and the Conservancy do some good work in the Park, but when questioned about their decisions and their practices they respond that they have raised millions of dollars over the years and somehow that should insulate them from public scrutiny and accountability,” he says. “As stewards of our public park and as representatives of the City, they should act transparently and disclose how and where money is spent, and otherwise conduct their affairs publicly.”
Actually, the current parking arrangement works pretty well. Piedmont Park Tennis Center – one of the last units of the park still managed by the City of Atlanta, run expertly by Sharon Lester and her team – enjoys regular access off Park Drive to the modest yet ultimately convenient parking lot adjacent to Magnolia Hall and, yes, the Botanical Garden. We have managed with this arrangement because the unpretentious parking area provides a small, controllable yet effective resource when these great events happen (including our home tennis matches). My teammates and I use this lot frequently and do not want to see it torn up. Rather, it should be maintained and used as is. What about eco-friendly asphalt? Low-water landscaping? More restricted access? Other creative uses? This area could be a testing ground for new environmentally friendly landscaping products, but all we ever hear about is how this mammoth car deck is going to be our savior, an expansive car heaven that will alleviate Midtown’s parking woes.
Let’s also remember how royally the private sector can fumble the public ball. After mulling this issue, I kept having nightmare reminders of Iraq reconstruction getting handed over to the likes of Halliburton, Parsons Corp. and others -- only to have billions wasted. Do we need such a profound example of alleged no-bid private contracts gone awry? I don’t think so. Privatization, in some weird way, seems to absolve officials from the personal care and obligation that comes with public management. And since secrecy breeds skepticism and mistrust, here we are.
I write this, clearly, of two minds, because again, I know full well the benefits we’ve seen in the Park. I may be a Conservancy member, but remain a dissenting voice, hoping the air around this project is cleared. But this nose-thumbing, redundant, “look what we’ve done for you lately” approach is maddening and makes me want to scream – and it should bring all Atlanta residents to their front porches, too, to do the same. McCown earned nearly $115,000 in annual salary in 2005, which has most certainly increased since then; in that year, the Conservancy, a non-profit, paid more than $100,000 to an external PR firm. Are these needed expenditures or extravagant usage of donors’ generosity? And that’s only the stuff we know about.
Simply singing one’s own praises does not magically immunize you from public speculation – particularly when you have people in the city who enjoy the park set-up as is, and would rather not indulge the Botanical Garden’s desire to give their members in Alpharetta a more convenient place to park in the city. I use the tennis center proudly, along with its parking area, knowing the recently updated clubhouse and courts there are the last bastion of municipal-managerial excellence that the park has.
I am a traditionalist and would prefer to see the park’s car-management system kept the same while still have the park expanded and enhanced. However, if the parking deck is our savior, show us how. If any of our private partners must stand on a pedestal to claim grand success, and continue to move us forward in this great city of ours, let us peek behind your curtain so we’re all on the same page. Without that, it’s a mystery too great to accept. - Will Pollock
# # #
Let the AJC know how you feel.
Update: Atlanta Business Chronicle reporting that the Botanical Garden and its parking deck project are not subject to Georgia Sunshine Laws. Pending further appeal, it looks like the project will proceed.
After Jack Cafferty asked his viewers whether or not Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho) should reconsider his resignation, this response from Charles in Lansing, Mich.:
"That's a hard call. Half the Republicans want him to resign, and the other half want his phone number."
How funny is that? CNN and The Situation Room have some truly clever viewers.
If "No End In Sight" is playing by you, go see it. Even if it's not, it's worth the drive.
Tell your friends.
Clearly, I need to do another M.A.N.S. entry. I'll get to that ASAP. Meantime, I've reconfigured wp.com to include a new category -- N&Ns. Nieces and Nephews are springing up all over the place, and I can't keep up with it all! As a photographer, these are good problems to have.
"If we weren't a nation of dreamers, the lines wouldn't be this long."
I'd add a link to his CNN bio, but I couldn't find one on the anchors & reporters page.
Just ask Atlanta City Councilman C.T. Martin, who wants to outlaw baggy pants -- through an amendment to the city's indecency laws. He has reportedly called the issue an "epidemic" and has urged his colleagues to take up the matter.
"Little children see it and want to adopt it, thinking it's the in thing," Martin told the AJC today. "I don't want young people thinking that half-dressing is the way to go. I want them to think about their future."
The proposal includes exposed g-strings and other undergarments that wouldn't meet with Mr. Martin's approval. Lame.
Seeing dudes with denim shorts around their ankles is actually sort of humorous and entertaining. But more than that, this type of morality legislation will never see the light of day -- it is a waste of time, money and energy. I thought that regulating decency inspired by Puritanical bullshit was saved for the Commonwealth of Virginia. I guess I was wrong.
Here's my e-mail to him:
Dear Councilman Martin:
On the decency idea published in today's paper? Absolutely a complete and utter waste of time.
How can you legislate morality, but more importantly, make the assumption that Atlanta's parents can't handle this responsibility on their own?
My strong suggestion to you is to abandon this ridiculous idea and work on feeding the needy or housing the homeless -- a much greater problem here.
Yours as a city resident and taxpayer,
Send a note to Councilman Martin and let him know what you're thinking.
I'll spare you a rant about a dean of my alma mater using that word. However, Medill was my choice for grad school exactly because their approach was forward-thinking and totally different than Columbia's, for example. (Which, by the way, has panned Medill's new move.)
This ain't gonna fly for me. If the school is moving to an Internet and Marketing focus, with the presumption that all jobs are going that way, what does that say about the magazine business, for example? What about an acknowledgment that newspapers will rely heavily on their Internet counterparts -- but not be supplanted by them, probably for a generation? What about alumni who want the same great school behind them?
This is an embarrassment. This smacks of a top-down, edict-style governing decision... And we all know how well THAT goes over in this country.
Oy. More to follow. Stop the insanity!
Update: Lame, squishy piece in Chicago magazine about this issue ("Campus Revolutionary," Chicago magazine, Sept. 2007). Reminder to readers: we are in the midst of a concerted attempt to subvert the power and import of our media. This effort is actually happening within its ranks, too, with unqualified anchors and reporters masquerading as journalists.
The correct posture is to hunker down even further into the traditions of journalism -- not discount its bedrock spirit. Dean Levine's surly disregard for the Medill faculty's ideas and preferences smacks of another Commander in Chief -- a deeply unpopular head of state who is on his way out. Hmmm... sounds like a good idea to me.
Olbermann will bring a special edition of Countdown to NBC on Sunday before a preseason NFL game, and will also stay on to the call the game with his colleagues (returning to his sports-reporting roots briefly after a long hiatus).
If you're not watching Countdown regularly, now's the time to see how the show is a distinct media watchdog to the partisan crap that our current administration would have us believe. Plus, what's the alternative? Trust me, you're bound to learn something every night -- and also laugh your ass off, with "Worst Person" honors and "Oddball."
Captures page updated with new direct links and a few updates.
More to follow!
The fact that DICK continues to defend the decision to invade and conduct a de facto adoption of a mideast country we have no business being in is the HEIGHT of arrogance.
Update: Countdown did a piece on this clip and another from 2000 that reveal DC as King Changemind.
Well, I took that to heart this week when Tim ClemNey
After some extra time with Thigh, I decided to call Delta and see what kind of specials they were running. I ended up here, in Fort Lauderdale, because a few hours on the beach -- and a stay at a great hotel (Hilton Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort) -- was just what the doc ordered.
I landed no sweat and was pounding the pavement before noon for lunch... Had a great lunch right on the beach, while the heavens opened. It poured. Came back to my mack-daddy suite, laid out on the beach, worked out -- then went to Thai on the Beach, a very cool restaurant just down the street.
Both meals were fish, of course -- the lunch was grilled tilapia over field greens, while the dinner was masman curry grouper. AMAZING.
Some of the captures are cool, so make sure to check them out.
The attached Yahoo! story includes a comment, for some reason, from Rudy Giuliani. You can skip that part.
As a kid growing up in Manhattan, Rizzuto made my usually sucky Yankees that much more awesome.
Thanks to Jim, my partner in crime for this round of house updates. He's an expert wall skimmer for sure -- and not afraid to tackle 100-year-old plaster.
Anyway, birthday/NYC travel blog to follow.
PS: NYC airports suck really bad. Nine hours door to door.
In the first half of 2007, we've had record-busting "weather events" that show it's not your daddy's world anymore. Our natural resources are too important to be complacent.
Watch for more stories, clips and news about this issue from me going forward -- including details of a green renovation of 844 Myrtle.
But it's with continuing admiration that I read Frank Rich's columns in the New York Times, with this week's piece as no exception. "Patriots Who Love the Troops to Death" (available only to TimesSelect subscribers) is a sweeping statement about how the once-fervent supporters of the Iraq war are starting to turn -- even ones who confidently predicted we'd be showered with eternal gratitude as liberators.
"That’s disingenuous," Rich wrote about the prognosticators, particularly Michael O'Hanlon and Kenneth Pollack, both of the Brookings Institution. "For all their late-in-the-game criticisms of the administration’s incompetence, Mr. Pollack proselytized vociferously for the war before it started, including in an appearance with Oprah, and both men have helped prolong the quagmire with mistakenly optimistic sightings of progress since the days of 'Mission Accomplished.'
"You can find a compendium of their past wisdom in Glenn Greenwald’s Salon column. That think-tank pundits with this track record would try to pass themselves off as harsh war critics in 2007 shows how desperate they are to preserve their status as Beltway “experts” now that the political winds have shifted. Such blatant careerism would be less offensive if they didn’t do so on the backs of the additional American troops they ask to be sacrificed to the doomed mission of providing security for an Iraqi government that is both on vacation and on the verge of collapse."
Actually, Bill Maher has been out in front on this issue for nearly a year now... that our country's crack-pot predictors are, well, dicks.
Rich also talks about the role of the media and others, including our beloved "experts" and political leaders, who have deep-seeded culpability in the way this war is playing out in the public consciousness.
I'm so mad that I go out into the world each day with venom spewing out my ears. I do what I can to manage it. The future, it would seem, is ours to create -- so let's make our own way and look for sensible solutions instead of putting our direction and judgment in the hands of people who don't deserve it.
I felt secure before 9/11, and feel even more so now that we've been taught a lesson not to sleep at the security switch. But I refuse to feed the Executive Branch more latitude when they can't be trusted to police disasters or protect our food supply or look at our healthcare system.
In this case, blame AND shoot the messenger. (I'm speaking metaphorically, for those scouring the Internet for Evil Doers.)
Thumb courtesy of Jupiter Images.
Update: the House passed the bill late last night amending FISA, 227-183, with many conservative Democrats voting with the GOP. Question: is the President's bully pulpit really the same when your approval is in the mid 20s?
Say what you want about Murdoch, but consolidated media ownership continues to suck for journalism. With a FCC review looming, Russ Britt writes for MarketWatch writes that it's too soon to call the deal done.
Update: NYT reporting that News Corp. may have improperly paid fees and influenced the deal close.
It is with mixed emotions that I announce my departure from CNN, effective Thursday, August 2nd. I'd like to take this opportunity to express my tremendous respect for my good friends and colleagues, their talent and high standards.
It's been an extraordinary journey since my first day on the job, September 11th, 2001. During my 6 years with CNN, we've covered the war in Iraq, the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, the death of a Pope and the massacre at Virginia Tech. I am enormously proud of the work we've done covering these stories as a team.
Now is the right time for CNN and me to move ahead on different paths. I wish good luck and success to everyone I was fortunate to work with. And for the first time in 30 years, I plan to take a break between jobs and catch my breath before I take on my next role. - Paula
Thanks to Pete for livening up every afternoon at SFM with the TV Newser. It's a page-turner!
I'll miss "Out in the Open."
Thanks to Ron at Composition Gallery for putting on a great show. As you can see from these pictures, I was in great company -- I even bought two prints for myself.
New show opens there on rock-star pictures tonight... I saw a preview yesterday and it's super cool! Following rock stars around and snapping pictures of them? I want that job!
Important inside jokes:
2) Give it up for Feathers!
3) Spouse shopping
4) Frat-boy WiffleGOLF (it's the new volleyball)
5) Impromptu beach breakdancing
6) Deep, existential beach conversations over (what else?) COCKTAILS
7) Would it be "grawesome" to "CHILLAX"?
8) "Would the owner of a white station wagon please go f%$#$% yourself?"
Anyway, enjoy the pic. O say can you see... I'll load a collection of SD pics soon. Promise.
One of the many gems I left San Diego with. More to follow soon. Enjoy.
Reception and show kick-off: Saturday, July 7, 2007 (7 p.m. to 10 p.m.)
Show concludes: Friday, July 20, 2007
Composition Gallery is located in Candler Park and features affordable photographic works from local and regional artists. If you can't make the reception, please be sure to stop by the gallery and take a look.
Contact the gallery here, and access the map for directions. Or... plot it on Mapquest!
Meantime, during off-court time at Barnes Tennis Center, Jack and Ken visited with Mary Murphy -- famed judge of So You Think You Can Dance and repped by former Atlanta resident Michael Sanchez (brother of Season One host Lauren Sanchez). I wasn't able to meet her, but I heard all about it. The pic here is of Jack and Mary with Kynni behind the cell camera.
Many more pics to follow, including captures from Mission Beach and some landscapes.
By Will Pollock
(ATLANTA :: 24 June 2007) Amidst the angry shouts of hellfire and wished damnation from protestors at Piedmont Park yesterday, one lone voice stood up at Atlanta Pride and declared, “Welcome Home.”
Rev. Paul Graetz, an eight-year pastor at First Metropolitan Community Church of Atlanta, was manning his church’s booth at the largest gay and lesbian Pride event in the southeast. He became fed up with signs that read, “JESUS THE RIGHTEOUS JUDGE CONDEMNS YOU TO ETERNAL HELL,” and stormed out to the park's entrance to counterprotest.
“They’re lying to my parishioners,” Graetz said, holding his lone sign. “It’s just an unacceptable wave of hate as you approach the park. Georgia doesn’t tolerate hate. Hate speech is not free speech.”
The religious objectors’ words blared over a bullhorn as they manned numerous entrances to Piedmont Park as well as the 10th and Piedmont intersection in Midtown. Rev. Graetz questioned their purpose.
“Why are they here? They’re adamant about their homophobia, their fear. Radical groups need someone to hate, yet the bible’s message is one of love. There’s no room for hate. God said he did not give us a spirit of fear. God’s love is here for all.”
For their part, Pridegoers proceeded past the protestors peacefully, with one woman entering at 14th street calmly saying to a protestor, “Have a nice day, Sir.”
“I am having a great day,” the protestor retorted. “Y’all think about eternal life, it might be right around the corner.”
Despite their somewhat sordid welcome, thousands of visitors to Pride were undaunted and enjoyed the many vendors and other attractions at the event.
But for Rev. Graetz, the angry language is a stark reminder.
“This is really a symbol for the type of world gays and lesbians face,” he said. “We have to walk through hatred to get home, just like people have to walk through these people’s hate to get to Pride.
“So I’m welcoming people here in love,” he added. “The hate was just too overwhelming as you approached the park. Jesus would be saying, ‘Happy Pride!’” (Additional reporting by Thom Anderson)
The day itself was expansive to say the least. Ted, Rolando and I hoofed it in Bethesda to Discovery Galleries -- a destination that caught Ted's eye from a mailer to area residents. The hybrid-concentration gallery was showing pieces by Christos Palios and Anne Packard -- both of which had stunning works on display. I'm going to try and pitch a story about this gallery in the coming weeks.
We were joined later that afternoon by Michele, Rebecca and Larise at Mia's as the six of us did "market research" for the forthcoming sixth annual NYE Gourmet Pizza Extravaganza. But we also connected with our great host (and Mia's' owner) Melissa as she graciously donated a gift certificate for the HRC's Eleventh Annual National Dinner, an extravaganza in its own right being co-chaired by our very own Ted Toon!
Volunteer possibilities abound for this event, so make sure to learn more and get involved.
Back to the matter at hand: If you haven't checked out Mia's, this new hip and happenin' joint, definitely make the trip. For more on this great day, jump to the captures.
- Dan Rather ignites a feud with his former network. Accusing CBS of "tarting" up its broadcast by hiring Katie Couric, Rather told Joe Scarborough's that the network was trying to "dumb it down, tart it up in hopes of attracting a younger audience." CBS chief executive Les Moonves called his remarks "sexist," to which Rather replied that Moonves "doesn't know about the news." This spat is such a waste of space... news outlets are spending time on this! I don't particularly like Katie Couric in her new role, and never watched Today, but can't we give her a chance to find herself before we pass judgment? Um, hello, it's been nine months since she started. Many anchors took years to catch on -- and even got fired (Peter Jennings, early on) before they dug in their heels.
- Just getting the story... or too close to the action? Despite how CNN's Rick Sanchez irritates the hell out of me, the kid in Georgia got the wrong sentence for his sex crime and that injustice deserved attention. But in reporting the story Sanchez became outwardly jubilant and pressed himself inside the frame when word came down that the judge threw out the 10-year sentence (the prosecutor is appealing). It was WAY too much, too soon, too close, when Sanchez should have stood back and let the events unfold. Watch the clips on Pipeline if you don't believe me.
- Oh by the way... Longtime NBC Nightly weekend anchor John Seigenthaler was replaced by Lester Holt, in one of the most underreported cost-cutting moves of the year. Seigenthaler had an 11-year run at helm of the weekend broadcast -- a position that, apparently, "was a luxury [NBC] could no longer afford," according to USA Today. Seigenthaler's rich, bass, deadpan (and dead-on) delivery was yet another comfortable chair we'll not get to enjoy anymore.
Or, even in what you might deem small or insignificant, never censor your own creative energy -- no matter who you are or what you do. Case in point:
Phone Salesman Amazes Crowd - Watch more free videos
But c'mon... for those of you who are strictly in favor of states rights, here's an example of those locally generated taxpayer dollars at work. They might as well be at a trucker bar outside Birmingham. And now, in this corner, Mike Tyson...
Here's the latest brilliant idea: we're apparently continuing plans for a missile-defense system for some of our European allies and, in the meantime, pissing off Russia and dismissing their objections -- while we are fast on the way to destabilizing our end of once-solid relations. Sound good?
We are led by an administration that espouses "instead of" politics, and we should all be furious. And NOT quietly furious, outwardly so. Don't ever think that holding a contrary opinion is weak, or "un-American," or cowardly. It's none of those things.
The whole 'I've seen Putin's soul' thing sounded phony at the outset, and now, the comment has become irrelevant anyway. As for missiles, one bad move deserves another. (Graphic courtesy of BBC.com)
I'm in negotiations with Kynni's "people" about posting his star turn on YouTube, but it's a sticky situation. Oops... too late. Thanks to everyone for a great time!
Don't believe me?
Let this be a reminder to those of you reading this who have additional slap-worthy pictures that are not in my possession. Send away, and I'll post them to the lot. The more the merrier.
And of course, thanks to all my nieces and nephews for making my life a LOT more exciting... and annoying!
• In 2003, UVa named an Endowed Professorship in his honor
• He received his undergraduate degree (1929) and graduate degree in Arts & Sciences (1936) from UVa, and continued on as a professor long afterward
• He advanced the understanding of East Asian architecture within the university community
• He received the Raven Award, the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award, and in 1976, the Thomas Jefferson Award -- UVa's highest honor.
• He was named to University Professorship, which entitled him to teach any subject of his choosing on the UVa campus.
I hope he's watching with approval.
- The claws come out... again. Audience members were shifting nervously in their seats as Rosie and Elisabeth had a hideous smackdown on "The View" about the Iraq war and the Bush administration. (Babs was off that day and unable to referee.) But what went completely unreported in this latest melee was that the entire thing was sparked by Joy Behar (actual quote: "don't interview each other") who is understandably infuriated by the latest revelations on how our country is being run and ran down a laundry list of things she doesn't like about our current government. (Current YouTube views: approaching 2 million) Question: what happens to the show when Rosie leaves?
- Honey, tell Consuela to avoid 60 Minutes. Lou Dobbs was recently interviewed by Leslie Stahl on CBS' "60 Minutes" about his populist mission that includes securing the borders with Mexico and restoring our quickly sinking country's order. Wherever you find yourself on the immigrant issue, the anchor, again, was the story here. Stahl uses the unfortunate catch phrase of "fair and balanced" to question Dobbs about whether his program is actually news. What do you think?
Update: Rosie to leave "The View" early and not complete the last three weeks of her contract.
The late Susan Sontag, as well as Leibovitz's mother and father, were all remembered in the collection and in Leibovitz's speech. Set against the High's new space, it was surely an evening I'll never forget. The collection itself is a bold and courageous look at one of our country's most cherished creative talents. Jump to the YouTube clip
"You talk about War -- it's an old paradigm," Garry Shandling told Bill Maher last night during the "Real Time" panel discussion, referring to our "War on Terror" language. "This winning and losing thing is where we are behind in our consciousness. I'm a comedian, but in my spare time, things bother me." (Photo courtesy of nndb.com.)
"For Medill’s part, it is more critical than ever to know what your personal ethics are as a journalist as you enter this nutty business. Do not be the news, be the impartial gifter of it. If you go to the producer side of things, don’t hang your anchors out to dry because you think your closest competitor is gaining on you. Stand in your integrity. As a journalist working in a few different areas, that’s my mission, and it always will be, and it should be for all of us. Your self-defined purpose matters, and your audience cares." ---> Jump to "Anchor Blues"
Update: Great related op-ed entitled "They Call This the News?", posted at Common Dreams and written by Jerry Lanson, a Journalism professor in Boston. Sent courtesy of Uncle David.
The original and best installment of this brand was banished to Friday nights this season, and now reportedly sits on the bubble for renewal -- despite its rabid fan base following it to the best extent possible. Don't let this awesome show get axed! Here are this fan's guidelines:
---> Bring back Angie Harmon, stat. I hear she's free.
---> Move the series back to its home on Wednesday @ 10 p.m. Fridays are lame.
---> Ease the constant "ripped from the headlines" formula and work harder to spin great stories.
---> Return to your expert directors and writers to recapture the old glory.
Reminder to NBC: are all the ka-jillions you make on widespread syndication not enough to tip the scales?
post on the L&O boards | USAToday Article | read the Dick Wolf blog
I found Susan on a night about 10 years ago when she opened for Joan Armitrading at Variety Playhouse. Spectacular folk singer and storyteller... always treats people at Eddie's like familiar friends. As she always does after her shows at Eddie's, Susan hung out with us after she slayed everyone with an a cappella encore. (see pic, at left).
Her original "My Strange Nation" song is the perfect antidote for our global troubles and frustrations. For more, go to myYouTube Live Clips page.
Also make sure to check out Motto Magazine, a groundbreaking publication supporting small business and promoting a graceful work-life balance. Hoping to contribute to that publication someday soon!