Lying Media Bastards

August 12, 2005

Death to Narnia!

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A random title for a random grouping of news articles.

Four Amendments & a Funeral- a bleak and biting look at the corrupt and surreal inner workings of the US Congress, by our pal Matt Taibbi. Long, but very worthwhile.

Big Brother Nixes Happy Hour- I’m almost afraid to mention this one, cuz I don’t want word to get out to employers. Apparently a recent legal ruling says that employers have the right to tell employees that they can’t hang out together. More specifically, it was a ruling that a security company’s policy that their employees cannot “fraternize on duty or off duty, date, or become overly friendly with the client’s employees or with co-employees.” You could maybe see “don’t date our clients” as a somewhat reasonable rule, but one of the variants of that long-winded rule is “can’t fraternize with co-employees”, even when off duty. Apparently the judges thought this was legal because they think that employers will only enforce the dating part. Upholding an unjust rule cuz you don’t think anyone’s going to use the unjust part. Great.

The article I link to is concerned about the labor organization aspect; if you can’t “fraternize” with your co-workers, you’re not likely to come together to form or join a union, are you?

Shiites Call for Own State in South- one of the reasons that the Iraq war seemed like a bad idea, long before it was underway, was that the tensions between the major ethnic groups– Arab Shiite Muslims in the south, Arab Sunni Muslims in the center, and Kurds in the north– could easily lead to a civil war once the dictator was deposed. While we’ve heard a lot of noise from the Kurds about autonomy and a separate state/province, this is the first public mention I’ve seen from the Shiites wanting their own state. I hope this isn’t the grim warnings of the past coming true.

Israel’s Exit Strategy- there has been surprisingly little talk these days about Israel’s pullout of the Gaza strip (and some of the West Bank), and I’m no expert on the subject, so I don’t know what exactly to think or expect from it all. I get the impression that Israel isn’t really sacrificing, just pulling out of areas it didn’t want anyway in a way that looks like a concession. The “protection fence” that Israel is building along the West Bank, along any path it chooses, is effectively drawing the border between the two regions with any sort of agreement or negotiation.

Anyhow, the above article is a bit of a warning, pointing out that many Israeli settlers in the de-occupied territories have plans to resist moving out of their homes, and that many Israeli soldiers side with those settlers. Don’t know how this is going to turn out.

Colombia Unearthing Plight of Its ‘Disappeared’- Colombians are starting to find the bodies of people kidnapped and murdered by pro-government paramilitaries in the 1990s. Apparently the leaders of some of these paramilitaries are seeking amnesty under a new Colombian law, and despite ordering the deaths of (at least) several hundred people, they might only face 2 years in prison for their butchery.

Posted by Jake on August 12, 2005 9:45 am

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