Jon Udell: Motivation, context, and citizen analysis of government data

I ran across this blog post by Jon Udell on and I think Udell and Willinsky are on to something here: …these are only views of data. There’s no analysis and interpretation, no statistical rigor. Since most ordinary citizens lack the expertise to engage at that level, are governments that publish raw data simply asking for trouble? Will bogus interpretations by unqualified observers wind up doing more harm than good? That’s a legitimate concern, and while the issue hasn’t yet arisen, because public access to this level of data is a very new phenomenon, it certainly will. To address that concern I’ll reiterate part of another item in which I mentioned John Willinsky’s amazing talk on the future of … Continue reading

“The most important work”

TownOnline reports on one of John Kerry’s activities on Monday, giving us another glimpse of the chasm between republican so-called “values” and true Christian values expressed by caring for one’s community and helping the disadvantaged. Kerry points to “The most important work” By Patrick Brodrick/ Staff Writer Thursday, June 22, 2006 CLINTON – It has housed disadvantaged and troubled youth since the Victorian era, but on Monday the Robert F. Kennedy Action Corps in Lancaster hosted both local and federal politicians, including former presidential-candidate U.S. Sen. John Kerry.

Former POW Blasts Renewed Smear Attacks on his “Vietnam Brother,” John Kerry

Recently, the Dem Daily posted on the New York Times report of John Kerry’s continuing fight against the repugnant smear merchants we know as the Swift Liars. One of the smear merchants, Colonel “Bud” Day, responded to the NY Times article in a press release, claiming – falsely, but why should Day begin now to care about truth – that Kerry’s “Vietnam service and medals” were “roundly disputed by virtually all of his former commanding officers and shipmates who were part of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth campaign.” But as Snopes reported back in 2004, here’s the truth about Kerry’s shipmates and commanding officers opinions:

Although the men quoted above are often identified as “John Kerry’s shipmates,” only one of them, Steven Gardner, actually served under Lt. Kerry’s command on a Swift boat. The other men who served under Kerry’s command continue to speak positively of him:
Many of Kerry’s Vietnam commanders and fellow officers also continue to speak positively of him:…

Day’s press release is rife with similar distortions upon falsehoods upon blatant lies. I would not even bring it up here except as a reeference to report that yet another former POW – a former “Hanoi Hilton” cellmate of some of the Swift Liars, has had enough of these politically motivated smears against a “Vietnam brother” and is going on record with his feelings on the matter. Continue reading

35 Years and What Have We Learned?

I am writing this as I ride a train from Philadelphia to Boston, on my way to witness what, to me, is a momentous anniversary in our national history, even if it will be barely noticed in our national media, let alone by the circus-captivated American public. 35 years ago this Saturday, April 22nd, a young former Naval officer appeared before the Foreign Relations Committee of the United States Senate, to tell the truth as he had seen it in the American War – known to Americans, of course, as the Vietnam War. On this 35th anniversary that young man, now a Senator himself, will reach out once more to cast forth the truth, as he sees it, for another … Continue reading

Happy New Year: The Year of the Citizen

Cross-posted from Freedom’s Fire, Brightly Burning, with minor edits. I want to wish all our readers a happy, healthy and productive year in 2006. I hope we will work together to bring real, positive change to America and to our nation’s role in the world. There is much to be done, but it will be rewarding work. Two inspiring quotes come to mind: Margaret Mead: Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has. John Kerry: There is no more important word in the American language, other than love, than citizen. Let’s make 2006 the Year of the Citizen. We can take back our government this year, … Continue reading