....LMB: "Squirmy Squirmy"....

September 03, 2002

Gotta admit, I enjoy watching these evil motherfuckers in the White House have to backtrack and perform all manner of verbal ninjistu when things don't go their way.

The media is making a big deal out of the fact that last week, VP Dick Cheney said that the US should invade Iraq post-haste, while Secretary of State Colin Powell said this weekend that weapons inspectors should be sent into Iraq. The press is gossiping about this as evidence that there is a "split" in the Bush administration.

Of course, for anyone who's been paying attention, this split has been quite evident since at least the spring of 2001. It's been obvious that Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld enjoy talking tough and threatening people while Powell preferred diplomacy. Pre-9/11, there were quite a few cases of Powell doing his diplomatic thing abroad, and then face embarassment as his cohorts in Washington shot their mouths off (at the time, I wondered if this was a ploy to get Powell to quit, to keep undercutting him until he left the Bush administration out of frustration).

But White House flak Ari Fleischer would have us believe that there is no split on White House policy towards Iraq. And that Bush's goal is now, and has always been, to have weapons inspectors back in Baghdad. Which is, of course, a load of horseshit.

Bush has been calling for a "regime change" since at least May 2002, as you can see in this press briefing by Ari Fleischer.

Ari makes one good point about US-Iraq policy, although he doesn't mean to make a good point, he means to dodge a question. A journalist asks "What is the President's rational for invading Iraq?" to which Ari answers that Bush is simply carrying out the US-Iraq policy set by Bill Clinton when he signed the Iraqi Liberation Act of 1998.

And he's right. According to Section 3 of the Act:

"It should be the policy of the United States to support efforts to remove the regime headed by Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq and to promote the emergence of a democratic government to replace that regime."

(Although the very last section of the Act says that "Nothing in this Act shall be construed to authorize or otherwise speak to the use of United States Armed Forces")

Is there going to be a war in Iraq? I don't know. It seems as though the Bush administration might be dialing down its aggression, and hiding its defeat by re-writing history. And hey, if they're willing to call off this war, they can call themselves the princes of peace and blame all the war-mongering on me personally, if they want.

Posted by Jake at 01:03 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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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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