What everyone’s talking about:
Eleven people are confirmed dead and about two dozen missing after the Costa Concordia cruise ship ran aground and capsized last week off the coast of Italy. And as the days go on, hope for finding more survivors is dim, according to experts. Rescue crews suspended operations on Wednesday after the ship started moving, according to the Italian coast guard. Since the ship rolled onto its side Friday night, rescue crews have since haulted and restarted their efforts many times. Butch Hendrick, president and founder of Lifeguard Systems, took us underwater to help explain the dangers these crews face. However, questions still linger about Captain Francesco Schettino’s actions as the ship hit rocks and started rolling onto its side. The captain seemed to give conflicting accounts in a conversation with the Italian coast guard, according to transcripts published by the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera. First the captain said he abandoned the vessel, but then says he was “catapulted” into the water instead. We’re Keeping Them Honest. And one survivor says while she saw other crew members “doing the very best they could,” she’s “absolutely shocked” at the captain’s behavior.
Former Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour is defending his decision to pardon convicted murderers before leaving office. On CBS’s "This Morning," Barbour said he understands the frustration of the victims’ families, but the prisoners “redeemed themselves, they deserve a second chance.” Earlier this week, we took a look at the program that allowed these criminals to live and work in the governor’s mansion. Our investigation raises questions on whether Barbour violated procedures. We’re Keeping Them Honest.
Reporter's Note: The president seems quite busy lately, but I hope he is still making time to read my daily letters to the White House. I mean, assuming he ever did…
Dear Mr. President,
I am intrigued by the online protest today by Google, Wikipedia, and others over the proposed SOPA law. I’m not gong to get into the specifics of the law, because certainly the supporters and detractors all have their arguments and heaven knows they can make them better than I.
No, what interests me is this tactic of some of these sites effectively shutting down their service for the day. Go to Wikipedia to look up, oh say, fishing, and you briefly see the page you are after then it suddenly changes to a dark screen and a plea from the Wiki folks for you to pester your Congress member over this legislation.
Of course, these web sites are free to do this. Hey, it’s their business. And it seems as if a fair number of people in the online world think it is a reasonable way to play at politics.
But I would be interested to see the reaction in the same community if some other big companies used the same kind of muscle to push their political opinions.
What if major oil companies were angry over the Keystone pipeline decision, so they cut off all their fuel to the nation for 24 hours? What if farmers were upset over farm policy, so they locked up their milk, beef, corn, and potatoes? I’m not sure the online world would be so sanguine in those circumstances.
I understand that “information” is a unique commodity, and we all use sites like Google for free. Certainly that makes my comparisons not precisely apples to apples…but then, I’m not my examples are apples to oranges either. For the record, yes I work for a big company that has supported SOPA, but I’ve not heard a word in the workplace about this matter, and the company’s view has nothing to do with the questions I’m raising here anyway. I’m not taking sides. I’m just pointing out that things are not always as straight forward as they appear, especially when it comes to anyone using tough measures to make a political point.
There are two ways of seeing today’s action. In one view, it is a brave defense of freedom by champions of the cause…willing to risk their own companies for a principle. The other view? It is just another case of hugely successful corporations trying to affect legislation through a type of near extortion.
Anyway, I’ve been pondering this through the day and I’d love your thoughts. Give me a buzz if you have a minute.
On last night's program, two of our guests, Ari Fleischer and Cornell Belcher, were discussing comments previously made by Belcher about then presidential candidate Herman Cain. They disagreed about what was said. For the record, here's the transcript of Belcher's comment regarding Herman Cain from September 29, 2011:
What Herman Cain said was a racist, bigoted statement and it should treated like a racist and bigoted person who makes those racist and bigoted statements.
Filed under: 360° Radar
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