November 08, 2008

Disgrace

It's the History Eraser button!

Back in the days of the Soviet Union, they would frequently edit photos by erasing people that had fallen from favor. A lineup of generals viewing a parade would suddenly have a gap in it. And that gap had always been there, according to them. George Orwell referenced this in 1984 in the main character's job at the Ministry of Truth. Usually, these erasures were clumsy, and many people had the original publications to compare to.

These days, Photoshop makes it easier to erase, but it's still not perfect.

For every skilled pixel-pusher trying to edit history, there are ten more ready to analyze every artifact, jaggy, and color blend. But on a website?
For every skilled pixel-pusher trying to edit history, there are ten more ready to analyze every artifact, jaggy, and color blend. But on a website?

I direct your attention, Gentle Reader, to change.gov, a fast rename of the original Obama campaign site. Now it appears to be an official statement on the process of transition, and the plans of the incoming administration. Let us not quibble over the use of the .gov domain for what is not an "official government agency," nor over the "Office of the President-Elect." Instead, let's visit the "America Serves" section.

Obama will call on citizens of all ages to serve America, by setting a goal that all middle school and high school students do 50 hours of community service a year and by developing a plan so that all college students who conduct 100 hours of community service receive a universal and fully refundable tax credit ensuring that the first $4,000 of their college education is completely free.

Sounds quite laudable, doesn't it? "encourage community service." Thing is, that's the second draft. Here's the original wording, emphasis is mine.

Obama will call on citizens of all ages to serve America, by developing a plan to require 50 hours of community service in middle school and high school and 100 hours of community service in college every year.

Now, drafting kids out of middle school and putting them to work is a separate topic unto itself, but suffice it to say, is not a good idea. Striking it out and saying "ok, that one isn't a good idea. How about volunteer instead?" would be a good approach.

Instead, President-elect Obama (or, rather, his team) erases it completely from the record. We never said any such thing! This is not a good way to build trust with the people you are supposed to lead.
It's the Same Old Thing we've seen before, not "Change."
It's the Same Old Thing we've seen before, not "Change." What else will get swept down the memory hole over time?

Remember this proclivity to whitewash mistakes, and when your memory disagrees with "official history"...well, you'll have to decide who you trust more, won't you?

Posted by: Douglas Oosting at 10:53 AM | Comments (4) | Add Comment
Posted to category: Disgrace


November 06, 2008

Disgrace

Neither side has a monopoly on stupidity

So, apparently there are already "Impeach Obama!" Facebook sites up.  I'm not going to link them. 

Here's a reminder:  Impeachment requires evidence of a crime.  You certainly can't impeach a man who hasn't even taken office yet.  It served no purpose in 2001, and it serves nobody--much less the country--now.

Posted by: Douglas Oosting at 12:30 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
Posted to category: Disgrace


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