....LMB: "U-S-A!! U-S-A!!"....

June 21, 2002

Talk about paranoid.

In the three zillionth attempt to derail the International Criminal Court, the US has announced that it will not take part in any UN peacekeeping actions unless all US troops that participated would be permanently exempt from prosecution by the ICC.

From the rational anti-ICC point of view, the ICC is dangerous because enemies of the US could use it for their own political ends, accusing innocent American military personnel of war crimes.

From the irrational anti-ICC point of view, anyone who suggests that the US should follow any sort of rules whatsoever is an enemy of the United States.

From the rational, impartial point of view, what the hell's the big deal? The ICC pretty much prosecutes people who commit acts of genocide. Is it really asking that much that Americans agree not to commit genocide?

In other news, the Bush managed to turn a plan to help African and Caribbean nations fight AIDS into a boon for US-based multinational corporations.

Bush has pledged $500 million to fight the spread of HIV/AIDS from mother to child (the article has a typo, it's "million," not "billion"). Sounds good at first.

First of all, it's interesting to note that the money will only be used to fight mother-to-child AIDS transmission. This is due to Bush's crazed Christian conservative, sex=hellfire stance.

But more importantly, the money is not being sent to the "Global Fund" to fight AIDS, a group that would buy cheap, generic AIDS drugs for the sick. Instead, most of this money is likely to be spent on expensive patented AIDS drugs from US pharmaceutical giants. The difference in price is not a small thing; generic AIDS drugs can cost less than 25% of name brand price. Using the money to buy generics would make it stretch a lot further.

So not only will the money do much less good, but it will end up in the pockets of the US elites of the drug industry.

But I suppose the fact that Africans can get generic AIDS drugs at all is a step forward. Even back in 1999, the US was threatening South Africa with trade sanctions if they tried to manufacture generics to treat their 3 million+ HIV-infected citizens.

Posted by Jake at 12:11 AM

No surprise there. He's fighting "the war on terrorism" to help his buddies at Unocal, He instituted widespread changes (through Senator Gramm and his wife)in utlities regulations so that his buddy Ken Lay could rape Enron employees and investors out of billions, now it's time to pay back those other big contributors to his campaing fundraising.

Posted by: The Dynamic Driveler at June 24, 2002 10:57 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.

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