....LMB: "Lotsa News"....

May 29, 2002

Found a whole heap of important news stories already today, and I've only been awake for two hours. Let's get started.

The True Purpose of Welfare Reform- a NY Times article which actually bothers to look at the failings of 1996's Welfare Reform Act. Cynical as I am, I read the title and assumed that the article would be about the hidden agendas, politicking, and exploitation which were the real goals of welfare reform. But it's not. The title refers to the author's conclusions about what must really be done to make welfare help people. It's not the muckraking article I wanted, but it's still good.

U.S. Tells Teen Girls Worldwide to Just Say No- another attempt by the Bush administration to push conservative Christian sexual values on the whole planet. The White House is refusing to pay its promised amount to the UN Population Fund, demanding that the UN's family planning education efforts teach abstinence. Despite research that shows that teaching birth control does more to prevent disease and unwanted pregnancy. That's some good thinking there, fellas.

The Judi Bari Bombshell- In 1990, two Earth First! environmental activists were injured when a bomb blew up their car. With no evidence, local police announced that the two had probably blown themselves up. The two activists took the Oakland police and FBI to court, and that case has recently been shining light on the dirty tricks of the two "law enforcement" organizations.

Trash for Cash- Bill Black was one of the people who helped expose the largely forgotten S&L scandals of the 1980s (which cost American taxpayers literally hundreds of billions of dollars), and helped prosecute the offenders. Here is an interview with this corporate crime expert about the Enron scandal.

And just to take the edge off, got a couple of amusing stories to add:

Startled Marines Find Afghan Men All Made Up to See Them- "British marines returning from an operation deep in the Afghan mountains spoke last night of an alarming new threat - being propositioned by swarms of gay local farmers."

BUSHS ALLGEMEINBILDUNG: Gibt es Schwarze in Brasilien?- a German news article (explained in English here, skip down near the bottom where Carville says "Now it's time for a look") which claims that during the recent European summit, George W. Bush asked Brazilian president Fernando Henrique Cardoso, "do you have blacks, too?" National Security advisor Condoleezza Rice had to "remind" George W. that Brazil not only does have a black population, but probably has more blacks than any nation outside of Africa.

I should give credit where it's due, nearly all of these links were stolen from Cursor, Common Dreams, Alternet, and This Modern World.

Posted by Jake at 09:16 AM
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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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