....LMB: "Bush on the War Path"....

June 11, 2002

I could easily delve into these articles and get my analyze on, but I think that all the facts point in a pretty simple direction.

1) Bush announces that US will strike first at hostile groups or nations with chemical, biological or nuclear weapons

2) Bush tells West Point Graduates that the US will fight for "human liberty" against "terrorists and tyrants" and for "free and open societies on every continent."

3) Bush tells conservative International Democrat Union that US must strike first against terrorists and "oppose the new totalitarians with all our power."

Okay, what's the common theme here? First of all, they all use and misuse lofty rhetoric about freedom and liberty. Second, all of them talk about striking first at enemies. Third, all of them include "hostile nations with chemical, nuclear or biological weapons" in that enemies list.

Hmm, sounds kinda like... Iraq. Tyrannical leader, hostile nation, and brimming over with nukes, anthrax and nerve gas, according to secret, nonexistent US evidence.

No one in the Middle East seems particularly concerned about Iraq as a threat. Hell, just about no one in the world sees Iraq as a threat. Except the US. Frankly, no one seems to know if Iraq does indeed have any WMD (weapons of mass destruction), although I'm sure Saddam Hussein would love to have some. Maybe we'd know for sure if Iraq had any such weapons if the US hadn't intentionally tried to fuck up the weapons monitors. But if the weapons inspectors had come back and said that Iraq was clean, the US would lose its already paper-thin rationale for invading the country.

So that's it. Just more "we've got to attack Iraq" talk. Excuse me, we never say "Iraq," we say "Saddam Hussein." Because there is only one person living in all of Iraq, and he's evil, so it's okay to indiscriminately bomb and starve the whole country, because he's the only person we'll hurt.

And as a final note, I noticed that in the first article above, they quote military expert Michele Flournoy. That's the first time I can ever remember a news outlet asking a woman about military issues.

Posted by Jake at 01:31 AM
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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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