Tuesday, August 29, 2006

KCUR Story--Lawsuits Challenge Missouri's New Voter ID Statute

Kansas City's NRP station, KCUR, has a great story, "Lawsuits Challenge Missouri's New Voter ID Statute" which went into effect on Monday. KCUR's news director, Frank Morris, talks with Missouri Congressman Ike Skelton, Missouri Senator Delbert Scott, Governor Blunt's Spokesperson Spence Jackson, Attorney Don Dowing and some who are have found the new law difficult to comply with.

These two groups (those who find difficulty with the law and public officials) aren't mutually exclusive. The story tells how Rep. Skelton attempted to obtain a state issued voter ID card (Skelton doesn't drive because of a disability). He left 45 minutes later empty handed. What was the flimsy form of ID that Skelton tried to use to get his state ID? His federal congressional identification card.

He was told that was not acceptable (this is from a county clerk that knew who the congressman was). Lets be thankful that the law will eliminate the huge potential of voter fraud from those who are using counterfeit congressional identification cards in Missouri.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Leaves from the Blog of a Tamed Cynic

I've decided to create a second blog, Leaves from the Blog of a Tamed Cynic, to use as place to record my thoughts and reflections on the Community of Christ. It will have a different focus and tone that this site.

The question sometimes is asked is anyone actually reading my blog (or most blogs in general). The answer is clearly yes. I traveled to Alabama several months ago for my church and met a young man who had found my blog page and been reading it. However, I'm not going to say that I have a huge audience. (I've never spent much time with website statistic/hits programs). Yet there are also sorts of reasons to blog. Leaves is, in the end, not for anyone else, but rather a chance for me to express some of the thoughts and ideas I have about my church.

I'm still debating on how much self-disclosure to post on the blog. For a wonderful blog, from an outstanding person who is willing to share, many, many things about herself, visit Janet's Blog. Janet is my sister-in-law and her blog chronicles her struggle with breast cancer. I think many people could be helped by reading Janet's blog. I also have learned so much more about her by reading the blog. But in the end, I don't know how much of writing the blog is simply about Janet needing a place to express herself.

We all need to be heard and blogs provide a new way for that to happen. When in seminary, I read an essay by Robert Putnam called "Bowling Alone." Putnam looked at the decline in civic culture and community institutions. I believe there is the possibility for blogs and other types of social networking software to help rebuild our social networks (by no means are they the answer alone).

If you are so inclined, please visit Leaves from the Blog of a Tamed Cynic (the title is a reference from a book written by Reinhold Niebuhr--see Leaves for more info) and e-mail me on what you think.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Is the The Source Closed to Comments?

It seems that some of the blog entries at The Source now have the message "The comments to this entry are closed." What I don't know if this is simply a way to keep comments limited to very recent posts, or an attempt to stop debate.

Lets be clear, one can run a website any way they want to and post the message that they wish to convey. However, I think that blogs that try to limit a real discussion fail to understand the medium and the true power of the Internet. It also seems that conservatives are more likely to want to reign in debate than liberals are (warning! huge over-generalization!)