Archive for the ‘public’ Category

Can Obama Say Goodbye to BlackBerry? Yes He Can, Maybe

November 16, 2008

Sorry, Mr. President. Please surrender your BlackBerry.
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Those are seven words President-elect Barack Obama is dreading but expecting to hear, friends and advisers say, when he takes office in 65 days.

For years, like legions of other professionals, Mr. Obama has been all but addicted to his BlackBerry. The device has rarely been far from his side — on most days, it was fastened to his belt — to provide a singular conduit to the outside world as the bubble around him grew tighter and tighter throughout his campaign.

 
Above: Senator Barack Obama with two campaign constants: his BlackBerry and his chief strategist, David Axelrod.  Photo: Ozier Muhammad/The New York Times
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“How about that?” Mr. Obama replied to a friend’s congratulatory e-mail message on the night of his victory.

But before he arrives at the White House, he will probably be forced to sign off. In addition to concerns about e-mail security, he faces the Presidential Records Act, which puts his correspondence in the official record and ultimately up for public review, and the threat of subpoenas. A decision has not been made on whether he could become the first e-mailing president, but aides said that seemed doubtful.

Read the rest:
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/16/us/politics
/16blackberry.html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin

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The Dumbing Of America; Nation of Dunces?

February 17, 2008

By Susan Jacoby
The Washington Post
Sunday, February 17, 2008; Page B01
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“The mind of this country, taught to aim at low objects, eats upon itself.” Ralph Waldo Emerson offered that observation in 1837, but his words echo with painful prescience in today’s very different United States. Americans are in serious intellectual trouble — in danger of losing our hard-won cultural capital to a virulent mixture of anti-intellectualism, anti-rationalism and low expectations.
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This is the last subject that any candidate would dare raise on the long and winding road to the White House. It is almost impossible to talk about the manner in which public ignorance contributes to grave national problems without being labeled an “elitist,” one of the most powerful pejoratives that can be applied to anyone aspiring to high office.
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Instead, our politicians repeatedly assure Americans that they are just “folks,” a patronizing term that you will search for in vain in important presidential speeches before 1980. (Just imagine: “We here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain . . . and that government of the folks, by the folks, for the folks, shall not perish from the earth.”) Such exaltations of ordinariness are among the distinguishing traits of anti-intellectualism in any era.

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/02/15/
AR2008021502901.html