....LMB: "Why They Hate Us: Just a Reminder"....

September 09, 2002

Swiped these two articles from Cursor. As I am fond of saying, read Cursor every day. Seriously.

‘A Greedy Bully’- Foreign Journalists Say Regard for the U.S. Abroad Has Dropped- a mild article in which ABC News quotes interviews with foreign journalists about foreign public opinion about the United States (it's always a little irritating when the media ask a "respected representatives" of a country to tell us what the people in that country think rather than actually asking the people of that country). However this article tends to focus on one rather whiny criticism, that the US government doesn't take other nations' interests into consideration when making decisions. That makes it sound like they're just pouting because America hurt their feelings.

Drain the swamp and there will be no more mosquitoes- article by Noam Chomsky about "why they hate us." And his answer is that "what they hate is official [U.S.] policies that deny them the freedoms to which they too aspire."


Sigh. A local paper from near where I grew up in San Diego is printing "community remembrances" of 9/11. This one from 14-year old Janell Peske:

"The events of Sept. 11 didn't change my everyday life as much as it changed my goals for the future"

"I would like to attend the U.S. Air Force Academy and become a pilot. After visiting ground zero and Washington, D.C., with a school group, I realized how much I had taken for granted as a citizen here and discovered that I, we, my generation, need to defend our freedom and rights so that nothing, not even terrorism, can stop these United States from dominating." [emphasis mine]


Posted by Jake at 09:59 AM

It shouldn't be surprising to hear someone voice that opinion. Yes, the U.S. is seen as dominating inside and outside the U.S. The prospect of any given country being "dominating" is terrifying when you're not a citizen of that country, and the prospect of your country falling from dominance is equally terrifying if you are a citizen of that country. Our culture is one that promotes almost everything as a zero-sum game -- you can either be the winner or a loser. Despite schools promoting self-esteem for just showing up, children still are infused with the "be a winner or be nothing" attitude. It's like being management or being one of the workers - most people when offered a chance for advancement in a company will go as far as possible, not so much for the opportunity to be a manager, but to avoid being managed.

I'm not defending this attitude, simply saying it should not be surprising in the least. It's actually refreshing that a child would be able to articulate that thought, in a way. At least it highlights the issue.

Posted by: Zonker at September 9, 2002 11:19 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.

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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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