Friday, December 10

Trying to Get My Mind Around WikiLeaks

My initial reaction is that WikiLeaks isn't that bad, and may ultimately be good.

For an opinion piece in this vein, read Why WikiLeaks Is Good for America (thought, ultimately, I don't consider just America my scope).

My friend, Ray's post on Facebook, was the first opinion that pushed me to consider the alternative. He said 'To be clear - Wikileaks is not a "whistleblower." It's a fence - an organization that facilitates the transfer of stolen property for personal gain: fame, fortune and notoriety.'

There's no doubt in my mind that Assange is a disturbed glory-seeker. But that doesn't necessarily invalidate the results.

Here's a take I like:
Wikileaks is like Pirate Bay; something that I don't like but have to defend because of the collateral damage caused by attacking it.
Simon Phipps via Tim Bray

(Idle thought: Which is worse? Pirate Bay or WikiLeaks?)

I agree that we're seeing some ugly collateral damage in response to WikiLeaks. The comments from some of our looser-cannon pundits and Congress members alone is probably more embarrassing than any of the cables.

One of the things we're getting via WikiLeaks is actual evidence of the ways in which our 'diplomacy' is unsavory. The realpolitik fits in just fine with Machiavelli. I still find it distasteful.

Tangential note: As a member of the media who's been commenting on WikiLeaked material, we can't afford not to.

On another hand (how many are we up to now?), David Kenner of Foreign Policy says:
In short, these are the most sensible, boring cables that I've come across yet. And I'm at a loss why Julian Assange thinks that they will do anything but increase the American public's belief that its government, by and large, acts responsibly on the international stage.
Random thought: I have noticed that the closer people are to official positions, the more disturbed or angered they seem to be by WikiLeaks.

Tom Barnett says we have bigger fish to fry, and there's no doubt about that.

Secrecy News says 'the scope of government secrecy in the U.S. has exceeded rational boundaries', and I'm pretty sure that's right.

I guess that's about it for me. Help me out. What are your thoughts about WikiLeaks?

Wednesday, December 1

Would Greek City-states Be a Better Governmental Model?

Reading about the Greek polis: 'city-state' or even 'citizen-state'.

I stipulate that federalism has been best for the US up to now. Hamilton's success is obvious, in my opinion. Hard to think our country would have risen to such great heights with Jeffersonian ideals.

However, I do think to continue in strength, we're going to have to start getting smaller, to devolve decision-making and spending to more local levels, as small as possible, really.

At the same time, I think there's a fairly good chance that Stephenson's enclaves will also eventually come to pass, whether we like it or not.

The US would be best-served by more local government, or at least engagement, but will we really be able to pull it off?

It's certainly possible without a Constitutional convention. All it takes is more people, as many as possible, getting involved in their communities. More local involvement is always good. If we had a movement of local citizen activism, it would certainly change this country more than any national change in political partisan control.

Beyond that, as a Christian, I am also a firm believer in local impact through church involvement and local Christian activity. In fact, that would is my preferred local activism for Christians.

There, I've solved our problems. Live long and prosper ;-)