Saturday, May 23, 2009

Summertime Blogging

May 23, 2009, 9:00 a.m.

Summer Reruns
(brought to you by*)


o Chronological Listing Three Years' 650-plus Blog Entries

o March-May 2009 Listing of Sample Entries by Topics

o Planning for the Fall Semester

Summer's coming. From the 80-degree days we've been having, and how well the garden's doing, it seems like it's already here.

So while summer is certainly no reason to be closing down the blog it is a time for slowing down the pace of blog entry writing. Or at least that's my intention. When it comes to blogging I find my challenge is not how to keep writing but how to keep from writing.

Three Years, 650 Entries. This blog started in June 2006. So it's about to conclude year three. It now contains over 650 entries -- listed chronologically for you in an online spreadsheet.

For your reading during the next three months, here is a sampling of the topics and entries from the last three months -- roughly one-twelfth of the blog's lifetime (so there's a lot more than this out there!). Even three months involves a fairly substantial and broad range of topics; clearly this is not a single subject blog. Since many of these subjects will continue in importance over time you might want to take a look at some of the entries you initially missed. Moreover, as the listing indicates, many of the entries were chosen because they include a significant number of links to related prior entries and source material you might find useful.

Sampling of Blog Entries Alphabetically by Topic
March-May 2009

Alcohol; Students Binge Drinking; Red Bull. "Drunken Fights and Digital Photos," April 13, 2009 (with links to 8 recent and related blog entries); "Bulls, Bars and Brawls," May 7, 2009

Bicycles; Commuting by Bicycle. "Biking's Many Benefits," May 9, 2009

City Manager (Lombardo) Dismissal; City Council's Handling of. "Lombardo and Mayor McCallion," April 23, 2009 (with links to 3 related prior blog entries)

Economy; Bailouts; Personal Finance. "Economic Salvation Through Marshmallows," May 15, 2009 (with links to 48 related blog entries from September 2008-May 2009)

Fairness Doctrine; FCC. "Don't Fear Fairness Doctrine," March 13, 2009

Gay Marriage; Iowa Supreme Court Ruling. "Iowa's Civil Rights Leadership," April 3, 2009

General Semantics; Susan Boyle. "Susan Boyle as General Semantics Lesson," April 20, 2009 (with links to 17 prior pieces of Nicholas Johnson's on general semantics, and a couple basic texts)

Governance; Lack of City Council Governance Model as Cause of Lombardo Dismissal. "River City Problem: Council-Manager Governance," April 18, 2009 (with links to main governance Web page and "An Open Letter to Regents on 'Governance'")

Health Care. Universal Single Payer and the "Public Option." "Public Option vs. Private Greed," May 18, 2009

K-12; School Boundaries; Roosevelt Elementary. "School Boundaries," March 30, 2009 (with links to the earlier blog entries, "Roosevelt: Valuing Our Schools," March 9, 2009, and "Demolition Disaster," March 10, 2009. The former contains links to, among many other things, seven prior pieces on the issue, some from my time as a school board member, and the latter contains a reproduction of "Long Range Planning Process and Parameters, An ICCSD Board Document," Approved April 11, 2000, which I helped draft)

Newspapers; Economic Decline. "Gannett Shoots Straight -- Into Foot," May 3, 2009 (with links to the related earlier blog entries, "Of Newspapers and Nails," March 8, 2009, and "Newspaper Delivery an Update," March 27, 2009)

Swine Flu. "Smithfield Ham and Flu," April 26, 2009

The Fall Semester. The academic work continues. As a first-time experiment, instead of putting the students' Cyberspace Law Seminar papers online they're working with me and my law school assistant to produce a hard copy version, a book tentatively titled Virtualosity (for reasons to be explained in the book) that should be available in Iowa City bookstores and from Amazon in a month or so. In addition to revising and updating a Fall semester course I've taught before (Law of Electronic Media) I will be teaching for the first time this Fall what is called a "First Year Seminar" at the University of Iowa (small enrollment classes for entering undergraduates, with grades but no exams for the students and no pay for the professors). For mine the focus will be general semantics, and I'm looking forward to it. But it requires the creation from scratch of a whole new course.

So while I continue to have deadlines coming at me, and you have other things to do than read blog entries, I thought I might spare you my 49th essay on global economic collapse.

Hopefully, I've pretty much made my position clear by now: Obama's ties to the financial community, the despicable disparity between the multi-trillion-dollar handouts of taxpayers' money to the guys who brought this on and the trickle down (if that) for their victims, the capitulation to corporate interests generally, the futility of bailouts for GM and Chrysler when bankruptcy was inevitable, the reckless headlong plunge into a future of wild inflation and debt ($70 trillion) our great grandchildren can never pay back, and so forth.

The same can be said for the other topics listed above, and those discussed in the 650-plus blog entries during the 11/12ths of this blog's lifetime that weren't included there.

But I tried once before to slow up the blog entry writing and found that my good intentions -- like those regarding dieting -- were almost immediately overcome with a series of events that simply cried out for my comments (or so I thought at the time). Thus, I won't be surprised if there are events from time to time during the next three months with similar effect.

* Why do I put this blog ID at the top of the entry, when you know full well what blog you're reading? Because there are a number of Internet sites that, for whatever reason, simply take the blog entries of others and reproduce them as their own without crediting the source. I don't mind the flattering attention, but would appreciate acknowledgment as the source -- even if I have to embed it myself. -- Nicholas Johnson

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