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Morning Coffee Notes

Wednesday, October 15, 2008 by Dave Winer.

Haven't done one of these in a while. Permalink to this paragraph

On Twitter we're talking, to the extent you can converse on Twitter, about where we'll go if McCain wins the Presidency. Last time it came up, a couple of weeks ago I think, I was saying Vancouver -- because it's just up the coast, about a 2-day drive from Berkeley. Easy to get to, and it's got an American-friendly border, at least so far. Maybe if McCain wins they'll start turning us away so many people will want to emigrate. It's one likely response to his idea that they should start taxing health benefits.  Permalink to this paragraph

A picture named msi.jpgThen came suggestions that I emigrate to Spain or Paris. Hmm. Interesting ideas. So I added them to the list. Today Moscow got added (Russia is a capitalist country now), Argentina, and my favorite so far -- Italy! Now that's a brilliant idea. I could move to Firenze, hang out in the piazza all day eating and drinking, and blogging on my Asus (although I might have an MSI Wind by then, seriously considering it). Who needs a Twitter Bar when you got a piazza with Italian food! Yum. Permalink to this paragraph

Okay since this is a MCN piece, I get to ramble. Permalink to this paragraph

Next topic -- did you see Frontline last night? It was an excellent summary of the election so far. It was good to review the events that got Obama and McCain to this point. Most interesting were the segments on McCain's experience as a prisoner of war and the part about Obama at Harvard Law School. McCain had it really hard. I didn't get how hard it was, listening to his speech at the RNC, I don't like listening to his speeches, and these days I have trouble listening to Obama too. You know who I really like -- Hillary! She gave a kickass speech on Sunday in Pennsylvania. We should be hearing more from her, and Joe Biden too. He does tend to ramble, like when he went off-script to say how much he loved HIllary. The first couple of sentences were great, but he went on and on, becoming more incoherent with each paragraph. However when he sticks to the script he's fantastic, even though he says Ladies And Gentlemen so many times you'd think he was Chuck Barris on The Gong ShowPermalink to this paragraph

Now the thing that really struck me about the story about Obama at HLS was that it was a time of huge conflict in the early 90s when he was there. I didn't know that. When I was there just ten years later it was totally peaceful, even a bit boring. The other thing they emphasized is something I already understood. Obama is a conservative, not a liberal. By that I mean, he won't do what Carter did when he took office -- Obama moves carefully and slowly and builds consensus. Roosevelt did the same, although that's not how history remembers him. He wouldn't go into WWII until there was a national consensus to do so, even though he knew we would have to, and every day we delayed decreased the chance of victory. Very much unlike the current President who went to war in Iraq without a consensus. This is something McCain struggles with every day, even though he never talks about it in the campaign (he should, even though it'd piss off his base, they can't stand criticisim, but we can't use American leadership that's scared of discourse). Permalink to this paragraph

A picture named tulane.jpgOne more idea. McCain talks about Country First. It's a good idea, I wish he would practice it more. They are responsible for the hatred that shows up at his rallies. The honorable thing would be to stand between the crowd and Obama and tell them to chill or find another candidate to rally around.  Permalink to this paragraph

Now the idea is this -- why isn't John Kennedy in this election? Permalink to this paragraph

He was, for a while, when Ted Kennedy and Caroline Kennedy endorsed Obama, they were saying here is a leader like my brother and father, respectively. These days everyone is comparing Obama to FDR, but along with economic chaos, political and military chaos are sure to follow. They all go together. A weakened US is going to be tested internationally, as JFK was in the Cuban Missile Crisis. Every day the world gets more dangerous. Permalink to this paragraph

It's good that Obama is laying the foundation for leadership when he tells his supporters it's not okay to boo McCain when his name comes up in a speech. But why not invoke JFK in response to the Country First mantra. Remind everyone that there's a Democratic version of that, that goes like this: Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country? Isn't that the response to the 80s and 90s and 00s? Isn't that what the next decade is going to be all about? Permalink to this paragraph


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A picture named dave.jpgDave Winer, 53, pioneered the development of weblogs, syndication (RSS), podcasting, outlining, and web content management software; former contributing editor at Wired Magazine, research fellow at Harvard Law School, entrepreneur, and investor in web media companies. A native New Yorker, he received a Master's in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin, a Bachelor's in Mathematics from Tulane University and currently lives in Berkeley, California.

"The protoblogger." - NY Times.

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"Helped popularize blogging, podcasting and RSS." - Time.

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"RSS was born in 1997 out of the confluence of Dave Winer's 'Really Simple Syndication' technology, used to push out blog updates, and Netscape's 'Rich Site Summary', which allowed users to create custom Netscape home pages with regularly updated data flows." - Tim O'Reilly.

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