Write Lightning is a blog from writer Deb Thompson.
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Thu, Jun 23 2005

Eminent Domain Just Got A Lot More Eminent

I am extremely disappointed that our U.S. Supreme Court (narrowly) voted against homeowners today on the subject of eminent domain.

The idea that business and city development concerns should be considered over individual rights is a dangerous precedent. It's also sadly ironic when you consider how often we have sent troops into other countries to change this very practice, where those with power and with gold had previously been allowed to do with others' property as they wished. This is not a good sign for our communities or for our country's status as a free nation.

It's also ironic that earlier this week the U.S. House of Representatives voted in favor of a constitutional amendment aimed at forbidding the desecration of the American flag. The flag is a wonderful symbol of our freedoms. But a symbol is only as meaningful as the ideals behind it. If we toss out real individual freedoms with one branch of the government and attempt to force respect for a symbol of freedom with another branch, our nation could become a house divided against itself. I hope that doesn't happen.

posted at: 09:34 | category: /Politics | link to this entry



Objectivity Again

A little less than a year ago, after some remarks from Doctor Tom McPhail landed him in hot water with bloggers, I posted something concerning the difficulty that blog-style journalists are having as they attempt to find their place alongside more traditional journalists. A lot of the flack that rises seems to come from the idea that blog writers are often too opinionated to be thought of as true journalist. As a practical matter, a journalist is no more capable of being truly objective than any other human. What often happens in the heat of coverage changes the whole axis of a story. A journalist is often called upon to present material on the spur of a moment that presents an opportunity for readers/listeners/viewers to take part in news as a sort of shared experience. Each person in the making, gathering and receiving of news has previous experiences that color the way he or she processes everything. To deny this seems not only unrealistic, but outright falsehood.

Adam Glenn, over at I, Reporter, wrote recently on the matter of journalistic objectivity. I liked very much what he said about focusing instead on "goals like fairness, context, independence". That's a lot more honest approach. And it's probably one we can all be more comfortable with as we acknowledge our own filters and those of others as the telling of things is passed along in a very human chain.

posted at: 09:00 | category: /Writing Life | link to this entry



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Stealin' copy is as bad as horse-thievin'
and cattle rustlin'! Lightning may strike
such varmints when they least expect it!