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August 17, 2005

Backbone America from America's Backbone

We welcome former State Senate President John Andrews to the blogosphere with his new project, Backbone America. It's a new blog, an addition to John's radio show (scroll down), and a project of the esteemed Claremont Institute.

Andrews was previously a conservative reformer in the Colorado Senate, a pioneer of the state think tank movement, and a presidential speechwriter. Jessica Peck Corry is the operations director and policy analyst. Businessman William Armstrong III chairs the advisory board.

The name derives from the Rocky Mountains, known as the Backbone of America. Still, John wouldn't want to be confused with these guys, I don't think.

Posted by joshuasharf at 09:58 PM | TrackBack

June 19, 2005

Low Blow

I realize that losing hurts, but this is simply stooping too low. Dispatching the Unfunny One on a revenge tour to Denver is more than even I would have expected from the Conspiracy Theorists of the North. (Oh, complain they may, but Duane himself as much as admits that he tried to keep the polls open long enough for the Gophers to catch up.)

Posted by joshuasharf at 11:07 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 07, 2005

Uh, Sure, He Said, Backing Slowly Towards the Door

As the long Minnesota winter nears its end, one can't help but feel slightly sorry for Chad the Very Elder, whose name betrays his demeanor. His are the rantings of an aged man, a beer in one hand, bitterly decrying a world that has passed him by, powerless to effect change, hoping merely to attract attention.

In the past, I've taken pity on him by providing him Lexis-Nexis transcripts, seeing as even his university bretheren and legal friends were unwilling to do so. But now, I question the wisdom (and loyalty) of one so bereft of friends that he and his - gang - have been placed on perpetual probation by the Commish.

I can see him now, Photoshopping away, like some Robert Crumb cartoon character, chortling away in a gravely voice, "heh, that'll get 'em." Frankly, I'm impressed that he knew where to find any pictures where the women are wearing clothes. Under other circumstances (which ones, frankly, I can't begin to imagine), I'd be flattered, but as it is, I'd advise any and all members of the Northern Alliance to travel in groups to any Minnesota blogging events.

Posted by joshuasharf at 05:18 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 05, 2005

New Houses

Boy, it's been a while. Thought I had forgotten, didn't you? Go ahead, start with the new ones, and then run through all the old friends.

Posted by joshuasharf at 06:23 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 16, 2005

Biweekly Forecast: Continued Sluggishness with Outbreaks of Creativity

So while I graduate on June 3, barring a last-minute breakdown worthy of the 2004 ALCS Yankees, it's going to be an action-packed couple of weeks. First, while I'm only taking one class, there's a case write-up, or something similar, due every class. This means that on days that I don't actually have class, I'm still preparing for the next one. I specifically waited to take Portfolio Management so I could have this incarnation of it, so my latitude for complaint is somewhat - limited.

Ah, but then there's that pesky Independent Study. Details to remain under wraps for now, but it's over at Janus, and they're actually expecting a paper that they can use and that the professor can grade.

Add in actual work, you know, work I get paid for rather than pay for the privilege of doing, along with the continuing house maintenance and housekeeping activities, along with other ongoing changes, and there's not enough caffeine in the world. (Do they still have those pesky benzedrine restrictions?)

Honestly, while the PM class is terrific, and the extra work involved is probably wiring fundamental ideas into my brain at the mitochondrial level, case studies began to seem like make-work about three quarters ago. Writing up my own work on the Independent Study is much more interesting, since it's actually new stuff. Probably not Nobel Prize-winning research, but new stuff nonetheless.

Case studies? Meh.

Posted by joshuasharf at 08:16 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 06, 2005

Get Well, Jim

Alliance stalwart Jim Cannon is battling Gullian Barre Syndrome, and it's kept him bouncing between hospitals and the free world for a couple of years.

Right now, it's got him back in the hospital, and it's a helpless and frustrating experience for everyone. Sadly, visitors are barred from the ICU, but prayers and wished to Jim's dad, Guy, are welcome and appreciated.

Posted by joshuasharf at 02:24 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 03, 2005

Campaign Finance Ironies

At the risk of meta-blogging (the story is rarely the blog; usually the story is the story) The Washington Post reports today that the FEC is concerned about possible black-ops political blogging by campaigns. Ironic that the current McCain-Feingold dismemberment of the First Amendment was achieved in no small part by similar, non-blogging tactics, on the part of the Pew Foundation.

It also includes this unkillable inaccuracy:

The FEC is taking up the disclaimer issue after news reports last year indicated that a handful of campaigns from both parties had put bloggers on their payrolls. The most contentious example came in South Dakota, where GOP senatorial candidate John Thune paid $35,000 to two local bloggers who ran sites critical of the state's largest newspaper's coverage of Thune's Democratic opponent, incumbent Thomas A. Daschle.

Neither the Thune campaign nor the bloggers revealed the relationship until it was disclosed in his finance reports.

In fact, Jon Lauck, the history professor and author of Daschle v. Thune, did disclose (although not advertise) the relationship on his blog, months before the campaign finance reports made it the center of attention.

Posted by joshuasharf at 06:45 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 29, 2005

Harsanyi Media Alert

Honorary Friend of the Alliance and Denver Post columnist, David Harsanyi, will be sitting in for Dan Caplis on the Caplis and Silverman Show tomorrow from 3-7 pm, Mountain Time. David's a pretty knowledgable guy, and should do a terrific job.

Listen Here, after you go through the free registration process.

Posted by joshuasharf at 10:23 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 19, 2005

The Rocky Defends Bloggers

The Rocky Mountain News joins the St. Louis Post-Dispatch in editorializing in favor of journalistic protections for bloggers:

The problems here are self-evident. First, of course, is that companies could hang the "trade secret" label on almost any material they didn't want published, including, for example, internal memos detailing everything from product flaws to accounting fraud. The media's responsibility is to publish accurate information of broad public interest, not protect the business interests of private corporations.

Second is Kleinberg's suggestion that he is the best judge of what constitutes legitimate news. That is simply not true. In a free country, news is what consumers and journalists say it is.

The danger is the precedent, which is one reason why some states are contemplating expanding their shield laws to include bloggers. Thirty-one states and the District of Columbia have shield laws that give varying degrees of confidentiality to the sources, notes and other materials gathered in the course of work by journalists, as variously defined.

Unfortunately, Colorado's law appears to exclude Internet journalists. It defines "mass media" as "any publisher of a newspaper or periodical; wire service; radio or television station or network; news or feature syndicate; or cable television system." So the need for a tech-savvy update is acute, preferably before an Internet-related case lands in a Colorado court.


...An increasing number of blogs gather and report news - some of which appears in newspapers or on TV. The most successful enjoy audiences bigger than a large majority of newspapers. As such, they deserve no less protection than their colleagues in traditional media.

At least some newspapers seem to understand that not drawing a line can work both ways.

Posted by joshuasharf at 07:35 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


To Hugh, to KNUS, and especially to Cezanne and Jennifer at KNUS, and RaeAnn at Borders, who thought to include us, and worked so hard to make the event a success.

And to PCClub for sponsoring the laptops and wifi access for the bloggers.

Posted by joshuasharf at 07:28 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 18, 2005

Book Signing Off

OK. I turn into a pumpkin at 6:10 PM Mountain Time, so I gotta run. Tune to Bob and Jonathan for continuing live coverage.

Posted by joshuasharf at 05:28 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

More Bloggers

Now, Ben and Jared have arrived, along with a few non-alliance bloggers, William Seccombe and Todd Carpenter.

We're still waiting on Clay. I guess they don't have all these big, paved roads out in Elbert County.

Posted by joshuasharf at 05:12 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

People Will Turn Out For Anything

Posted by joshuasharf at 04:22 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Live! From Golden! It's Friday Afternoon

Here at the Colorado Mills Borders, in a makeshift studio. I guess in order to avoid being here until 1:00 AM again, Hugh's signing books during breaks.

Some of the Alliance has shown up early, including Bob, Jonathan, Jim, and camp follower Barbara.

Posted by joshuasharf at 04:01 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 10, 2005

Blogging Holiday

Despite all the fascinating stuff coming out of Boulder, Qwest, and Wall Street, I'm going to be taking a blogging holiday for the next few weeks or so, to deal with finals and some personal matters that have come up.

I'll see you all when I get back, towards the end of the month.

Posted by joshuasharf at 08:36 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 09, 2005


For some reason, comments that have been posted are not showing up properly. Until I have time to figure out what's causing the problem, I'm going to disable comments on the site.

This doesn't have anything to do with anything that's been written - it's purely a technical problem that I don't have time to solve right now. You're still invited to email me, and let me know if the email is for attribution.

With luck, comments will be re-enabled soon.

Posted by joshuasharf at 03:41 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 25, 2005

The Counter-Reformation

If Hugh Hewitt is right, and blogging represents the Reformation, then the counter-Reformation can't be far behind.

Today saw the publication of three pieces of literature, ranging from analysis to polemic, that will be brought together in the new storyline of a vast Republican media conspiracy.

First, Anne Lewis at the DSSC seizes on Ken Mehlman of the RNC comment that "we don't have to pay for our grassroots," a reference to the paid help that the Dems' GOTV effort relied on. First on Lewis's list: the South Dakota Alliance, and Jon Lauck. Lauck did indeed receive money from the Thune campaign, disclosed this fact, and went on to cover the campaign and the Argus-Leader's distortions in great depth and with great insight. He had a point of view, he was not a shill. This doesn't prevent Lewis from claiming that he never told anyone about his payment.

Then, Jan Frel at Personal Democracy posts a long piece claiming to uncover the real strategy of the South Dakota Alliance. That strategy was to "get inside the heads" of the Argus-Leader's staff covering the campaign.

Actually, the strategy was to force the A-L to straighten up and fly right, something blogs have been all about for a while now. Dan Gillmor, formerly of the San Jose Mercury News who now blogs about the media, treats this as a startling revelation. But Frel notes that the Alliance made this goal public in a Platform.

Gannon-Guckert also makes an appearance in Frel's article.

And today, Jay Rosen puts the Gannon-Guckert kerfuffle into a larger context, what he sees as the Administration's efforts to discredit the print MSM. Let me be clear: I think Rosen is acting in good faith, and is putting together some pieces that should be aired. Rosen's a smart guy, and should be taken seriously, and argued with seriously. At the same time, this is a storyline that will be quickly twisted into the larger "conservative-media-as-paid-tools" storyline.

That storyline is the counterattack.

It matters not that the South Dakota Alliance, or Powerline, or the Swifties operated from facts. Or that the CBS memos were fake-but-untrue, or that Eason Jordan had a history of questionable statements and ethics, or that (to address Jay Rosen's point) the mainstream press long ago abandoned professionalism for politics.

What matters is that the Administration and the campaign found a way to get around the filter.

It's a political counterattack, not a reasoned one, so it relies on ignoring facts and smearing all opponents with the same brush. The hope is to create an image in the public mind, not to win debating points. It's to change the image of bloggers and those who support them, from public heroes (which was always over-stated, anyway) to being something slightly disreputable, and suspect.

It's part of the game of discrediting conservative journalism, in an attempt to re-establish the MSM as the only source of critical analysis of the administration.

Posted by joshuasharf at 11:46 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 22, 2005

Sort of Like Spam, But Without the Bitter Aftertaste

For those of you who would like to receive new postings by email, there's a subscription form over on the left-hand side (scroll down a little). Just enter your email address, and new postings will be mailed to you as they appear. You won't get offers from jailed Nigerian businessmen and what happens at View, stays at View, so your email address stops here.

Posted by joshuasharf at 10:10 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 20, 2005

About Wikipedia

Wikipedia is an online encyclopedia that operates like a moderated blog. It believes that it has both technical and social means to control trolls, cranks, and partisans, and still publish a high-quality product.

About.com relies on a centralized set of experts to edit its articles, mimicking a traditional encyclopedia, but on line.

Guess which one the New York Times bought for $410 million?

Typically, the Times report of the purchase doesn't even mention Wikipedia. It's couched entirely in terms of the added revenue stream, which is probably true. Until the Times editors get their glummies into About.com, and the Wikipedians start fact-checking the thing.

Posted by joshuasharf at 10:10 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 16, 2005

Not Gonna Play That Game

At first, I thought, "oooh goody. Hate mail."

Then I saw that Deb Frisch, an adjuct lecturer at the University of Arizona, has apparently decided to declare guerilla cyber-war on Professor Bainbridge. The brain balks, unable to exaggerate the mismatch.

The professor can take care of himself. Ms. Frisch has commented here recently, and, as is my habit on this blog, in the comments section, I've cheerfully ignored her. But if she has a problem with some third party, she's got her own blog.

I'm not going to allow my site to be used as a proxy for this sort of thing. People like this tend to be like burrs. Ms. Frisch has the singular distinction of being the only non-poker, non-porn-based individual banned from trackbacks and comments.

Posted by joshuasharf at 07:38 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 15, 2005

Congressional Legislative Blogging

The only reason the last two posts were possible at all is because the Colorado General Assembly posts bills and their Financial Impact Assessments online as soon as each is available.

Mark Tapscott, Director of The Heritage Foundation's Center for Media and Public Policy, wrote to suggest a similar project at the Congressional level, allowing bloggers to subject legislation to the same dissection that we do everything else.

Bring. It. On.

Posted by joshuasharf at 11:01 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Light Blogging Today

Busy, busy, busy. This evening, I hope to have a review of Blink up. In the meantime, go read the rest of the Alliance.

Posted by joshuasharf at 08:40 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 10, 2005

The WaPo Still Doesn't Get It

Years into the Age of the Blog, and the Washington Post still doesn't know the difference between a blog and a disucssion board.

Posted by joshuasharf at 11:29 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 01, 2005

Light Blogging Today

Although I do want to get that McMad update up there.

Posted by joshuasharf at 08:14 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 27, 2005

The Succession Struggle is Underway

Who will succeed Hinderaker at Powerline?

Posted by joshuasharf at 10:25 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

January 26, 2005

Checking in With the Mother Ship

Jonathan Sabin of Mangled Cat is in town this week, and we had a chance to get together at the company store last night, and chew over his new HP Tablet PC, business in general, and Howard Schultz's creation, in particular.

Jonathan has completely drunk the KoolAid Latte for the place, but it's hard to argue with him on objective grounds. As part of their training, Starbucks employees each get a copy of Pour Your Heart Into It, and Schultz makes a point of stopping by to autograph every copy. Starbucks really hit its stride when he took over, so there's a question as to whether or not it qualifies as Good to Great, or just great, but if you're looking for a case study to do on your own, there are worse places to start.

Posted by joshuasharf at 08:48 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 19, 2005

Ask Not For Whom the Man Dates...

Between actual work, school work, presentations to clients, and, well, class, the dance card is pretty full today.

For the moment, though take a look at this bit from the RMPN ("Got Me a Man-Date", which, despite the title, has nothing to do with same-sex anything). Go ahead. I'll wait.

Now, what on earth do the results from a BBC poll of the rest of the world have to do with President Bush's mandate? Apparently the Left, having lost the national debate, is looking to expand the franchise.

The Colorado Democrats need to be careful - very careful - about whom they allow themselves to be seen with in public.

Posted by joshuasharf at 09:31 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

A Civil War

Supreme Command

The (Mis)Behavior of Markets

The Wisdom of Crowds

Inventing Money

When Genius Failed

Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking

Back in Action : An American Soldier's Story of Courage, Faith and Fortitude

How Would You Move Mt. Fuji?

Good to Great

Built to Last

Financial Fine Print

The Balanced Scorecard: Measures that Drive Performance

The Balanced Scorecard: Translating Strategy into Action

The Day the Universe Changed


The Multiple Identities of the Middle-East

The Case for Democracy

A Better War: The Unexamined Victories and Final Tragedy of America's Last Years in Vietnam

The Italians

Zakhor: Jewish History and Jewish Memory

Beyond the Verse: Talmudic Readings and Lectures

Reading Levinas/Reading Talmud