Sunday, March 13, 2005

Sunday Highlights: A Few For the Road

  • Jack Pitney directs attention to CMC (Go Stags!) student Andrew Lee's op-ed on Social Security privatization and its potential benefits for the gay community (guaranteed to generate reader response up here, I'd assume). His basic position is valid, so far as it goes. But to frame the issue as a slam-dunk for gay rights overlooks a number of important details. Statutory language would be required to ensure that contract (probate too?) law allowed for beneficiaries to collect despite almost guaranteed next-of-kin, or other challeneges seeking to terminate agreements as violative of public policy.
  • Another Chron op-ed looks quite intelligently at the blogger-as-journo question: It's not whether bloggers are journalists, it's which are. The piece includes a nod to the emerging blog-question that frightens us most of all - the FEC's exploration of whether campaign finance laws "apply to partisan bloggers whose work may, in effect, be akin to donating their services to campaigns." Ain't nobody ever going to tell Phoblog what, when, how, or who to blog. Especially not the Federal Elections Commission (are there still Stags on the commission? Hope so). Same goes for California's FPPC, for the record.
  • Maureen Dowd offers her take on the latest intra-jounro row over whether op-ed pages feature enough women. We endorse her opinion that men take professional criticism more personaly when it comes from a woman: "While a man writing a column taking on the powerful may be seen as authoritative, a woman doing the same thing may be seen as castrating." For more on the background conflict - Susan Estrich's attack on the L.A.T, check out L.A. Observed which has done a good job of following the war as it's developed. (Estrich, unfortunately has behaved less than professionally herself, damaging the whole gender and giving great material to the "chicks are shrill" societal narrative.)

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