....LMB: "I Love the Smell of Neutrons in the Morning"....

May 28, 2002

Two more reasons to fear for your life:

1) India-Pakistan-Kashmir crisis. According to columnist Eric Margolis (one of the few reporter/columnist/pundit types I trust), India and Pakistan are on the verge of war, possibly of the nuclear variety. And this column here reminds us that any warfare between the two nations could easily draw in both Russia and China, both nuclear powers themselves. Meaning that about 3 billion of the world's roughly 6 billion people could be trying to kill each other (or be transformed into human slag) in the near future.

There's a decent recap of the Kashmir conflict here. But my understanding of the conflict is as follows. Pakistan claims that most Kashmiris do not want to be part of India, and they are right. And India claims that Pakistan is inciting Kashmiri militants to attack India, and they are right. Ain't no good guys, just a bunch of crazy people with guns.

2) Mini-Nukes. Geroge W. and company are looking to create smaller (about 1/3 the power of Hiroshima) nuclear weapons, ones that wouldn't destroy a whole city and could "feasibly" be used in a military conflict. Bush's 2003 budget sets aside $15 million for the creation of a "Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator"; basically, a bomb that could burrow under the ground and then explode. These are called "bunker busters," and would allegedly be used to destroy underground "hardened bunkers."

All sorts of fun problems with that. First and foremost, who the hell is Bush planning to use those on? The current US enemy seems to be "international terrorism," and those folks seem to hang out in apartments, desert tents, and US flight schools. Doesn't seem like nukes are really necessary there.

Such weapons are also illegal under US law. The US agreed not to use nuclear weapons on non-nuclear countries back in 1978, and Congress banned research on these sorts of weapons back in 1994. No worries, all that can be circumvented with clever wording. Weapons manufacturers aren't doing new research, they're modifying and re-packaging old weapons. Brilliant.

And the third is that pesky "deadly radiation" thing. To contain the nuclear fallout, the bomb would have to get down to a depth of around 300 feet-- and the current generation of burrowing bombs only get down about 12. But even then, I can't imagine that patches of nuked dirt will be entirely safe either.

Posted by Jake at 03:21 PM

btw, there's a typo in the URL for Eric Margolis, it should be:


Posted by: Kurt at May 29, 2002 09:25 AM

Doh! You're right. I'll make the change.

Posted by: Jake at May 29, 2002 03:39 PM
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Lying Media Bastards is both a radio show and website. The show airs Mondays 2-4pm PST on KillRadio.org, and couples excellent music with angry news commentary. And the website, well, you're looking at it.

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Media News

November 16, 2004

Tales of Media Woe

Senate May Ram Copyright Bill- one of the most depressing stories of the day that didn't involve death or bombs. It's the music and movie industries' wet dream. It criminalizes peer-to-peer software makers, allows the government to file civil lawsuits on behalf of these media industries, and eliminates fair use. Fair use is the idea that I can use a snippet of a copyrighted work for educational, political, or satirical purposes, without getting permission from the copyright-holder first.

And most tellingly, the bill legalizes technology that would automatically skip over "obejctionable content" (i.e. sex and violence) in a DVD, but bans devices that would automatically skip over commericals. This is a blatant, blatant, blatant gift to the movie industry. Fuck the movie industry, fuck the music industry, fuck the Senate.

Music industry aims to send in radio cops- the recording industry says that you're not allowed to record songs off the radio, be it real radio or internet radio. And now they're working on preventing you from recording songs off internet radio through a mixture of law and technological repression (although I imagine their techno-fixes will get hacked pretty quickly).

The shocking truth about the FCC: Censorship by the tyranny of the few- blogger Jeff Jarvis discovers that the recent $1.2 million FCC fine against a sex scene in Fox's "Married By America" TV show was not levied because hundreds of people wrote the FCC and complained. It was not because 159 people wrote in and complained (which is the FCC's current rationale). No, thanks to Jarvis' FOIA request, we find that only 23 people (of the show's several million viewers) wrote in and complained. On top of that, he finds that 21 of those letters were just copy-and-paste email jobs that some people attached their names to. Jarvis then spins this a bit by saying that "only 3" people actually wrote letters to the FCC, which is misleading but technically true. So somewhere between 3 and 23 angry people can determine what you can't see on television. Good to know.

Reuters Union Considers Striking Over Layoffs- will a strike by such a major newswire service impact the rest of the world's media?

Pentagon Starts Work On War Internet- the US military is talking about the creation of a global, wireless, satellite-aided computer network for use in battle. I think I saw a movie about this once...

Conservative host returns to the air after week suspension for using racial slur- Houston radio talk show host (and somtime Rush Limbaugh substitute) Mark Belling referred to Mexican-Americans as "wetbacks" on his show. He was suspended for a couple of weeks, and then submitted a written apology for the racial slur to a local newspaper. But he seems to be using the slur and its surrounding controversy to boost his conservative cred with his listeners.

Stay Tuned for Nudes- Cleveland TV news anchor Sharon Reed aired a story about artist Spencer Tunick, who uses large numbers of naked volunteers in his installations and photographs. The news report will be unique in that it will not blur or black-out the usual naughty bits. The story will air late at night, when it's allegedly okay with the FCC if you broadcast "indecent" material. The author of this article doesn't seem to notice that Reed first claims that this report is a publicity stunt, but then claims it's a protest against FCC repression. I'd like to think it's the latter, but I'm not that much of a sucker.

Posted by Jake at 04:02 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)
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Mission: Mongolia

Jake's first attempt at homemade Mongolican barbecue:


What went right: correctly guessing several key seasonings- lemon, ginger, soy, garlic, chili.

What went wrong: still missing some ingredients, and possibly had one wrong, rice vinegar. Way too much lemon and chili.

Result: not entirely edible.

Plan for future: try to get people at Great Khan's restaurant to tell me what's in the damn sauce.

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