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Molly Ivins reads blogs!

I love her even more now. Ivins responds to this Talking Points Memo post in her latest column. Josh Marshall argues that William Safire's writing about Iraq's alleged weapons of mass destruction and the rewriting of recent history is the most Orwellian of the hawk rhetoric. Ivins comes up with several more shining examples:

That's good, but not as good as my old favorites at the Wall Street Journal editorial board. Their June 1 editorial "Weapons of Mass Distortion" is a masterpiece. In this version, those who ask the WMD question are attempting "to damage the credibility of Mr. Blair, President Bush and other war supporters."

"But who's trying to deceive whom here?" thunders the Journal. "That Saddam had biological or chemical weapons was a probability that everyone assumed to be true, even those who were against the war." So there! And why did everyone assume it? Either because we were lied to or because there was a massive intelligence failure. To get off Orwell and back to the facts here, we were told we were going to war because Iraq had 5,000 gallons of anthrax, several tons of VX nerve gas, between 100 tons and 500 tons of other toxins, including botulinin, mustard gas, ricin and Sarin, 15 to 20 Scud missiles, drones fitted with poison sprays and mobile chemical laboratories.


Also contending for the Orwell award is White House press secretary Ari Fleischer. In response to questions about
that rather expensive photo-op aboard the USS Lincoln (between $800,000 and $1 million just for delaying the
aircraft carrier a day), Fleischer said, "It does a disservice to the men and women in our military" to suggest that the president "or the manner in which the president visited the military would be anything other than the exact appropriate thing to do." Everything the president does is the exact appropriate thing to do, and anyone who says otherwise is doing a disservice to the troops. Amazing.

Molly Ivins=National Treasure.

New design

Hey, check this out! My friend Adam designed three banner images for me, and I decided to use this one first. Charlie chose this new template. Sweet!

Summer Course Planning

Some of you already know, but in case not, I'm teaching a class this summer: Rhetoric 3562, Technical and Professional Writing. That's Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9:35-12:30. Yes, three-hour class meetings, twice a week. I must have lost my mind! So now I'm trying to visualize how the class meetings are going to go. I definitely want to have my students do collaborative/group work in class, and I'm thinking I'll have each student keep a blog, and at the end of class each day, maybe during the last fifteen minutes, I'll have them do "progress posts"--sort of a "what I've learned, what I've accomplished" thing. That will help the students to synthesize concepts from class, hopefully. I want them to use the blogs to post about whatever they want, too, but ultimately I want the blogs to help the students with their projects. Please give me any other tips you have about having students keep blogs! Do I ever need them.

Salam Pax hired by The Guardian

According to Wired, wildly popular Iraqi blogger Salam Pax, who keeps Where is Raed?, has gotten hired to write a biweekly column for The Guardian. The first one will appear Wednesday. I think this is yet another indicator of how important blogging is. Not only is it paramount in societies in which freedom of expression is restricted, but blogging as a self-publishing model is really opening doors for some bloggers. Some of you might know that Glenn Reynolds writes a column for MSNBC as a result of Instapundit's readership. Which reminds me...I am going to Knoxville next weekend and am planning on meeting up with Glenn Reynolds and talking about blogs! I'm excited.

Cross-posted at Kairosnews.

Academic Blogging

Tom Coates has written an intricate post called "Discussion and Citation in the Blogosphere." He argues that rich debate can happen on weblogs. Some might think that's stating the obvious, right? Coates knows that. To my mind, he's arguing for the academic legitimation of blogging, something that's already happening very quickly (as Charlie linked in this post). Coates is arguing that we're experiencing a "micro-paradigm shift" toward a "hyperactive academia." One person who commented pointed out the peer review process involved in academic publication, and Coates responded by saying that in blogging, peer review certainly takes place, but after the fact. That's it exactly. I was talking to Charlie at Computers & Writing about an idea I have about the possible future of academic blogging: What if you, an academic, kept a weblog and blogged all your scholarly essays there. Let's say that if you're looking for a job, someone finds a few people in your area of study to peer-review your weblog. It wouldn't be blind review, true, but it would be something. Thanks Anne for the link. Also posted on Kairosnews.

A blog by a 3-year-old and his mom

Lauren! This is too cute. See also BabyBlogger. This is from Jeneane Sessum's child.

Unfortunately, it looks to me like blogging for small children is already becoming a little commodified.

Hey, Answergrape...

Going by what I just read, I think you should submit something to our edited collection.

Blogs Opening Iranian Society?

Blogs Opening Iranian Society? - Iran's restive youth are using Farsi-language blogs as an outlet to express repressed creativity and sexuality. But the Islamic government is slowly catching on. Michelle Delio reports from the BlogTalk conference in Vienna. [Wired]

The article says there are over 12,000 Farsi blogs and that blogging in Farsi is one way Iranians can participate in Western-centered culture without losing their heritage, and that since Iran doesn't have a free press, these weblogs are more reliable perspectives of what it's really like in Iran. I bet someone could do an analysis of Iranian blogs using feminist standpoint theory! Too bad I can't read Farsi.

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