....LMB: "Quality Assortment"....

September 19, 2002

World Support for War Recedes- Yay!

Saddam's Nukes are a Western Myth- columnist Eric Margolis argues persuasively that Iraq does not have nuclear weapons.

Senate to Vote on Iraq Resolution Before Election- "Senate Democratic leaders on Tuesday agreed to vote before the midterm elections on a resolution supporting action against Iraq, dropping their complaints that they were being rushed to judgment before the Bush administration had fully made its case."

I really don't understand the Democrats. Are they intentionally trying to lose in this upcoming Congressional election? As KPFK commentator Ian Masters has been saying, "voting on this war before the election turns it into a referendum on patriotism." Meaning that anyone who wants to get re-elected will have to vote in favor of the war or face an electoral opponent who will smear them as un-patriotic and soft on terrorism. Which ends up playing into the hands of the Republicans anyway, because the American public seems to feel that Republicans handle war situations better than Democrats.

Number of Gay TV Characters Plummets- not that there were many to start off with. Last TV season, the major networks had 20 gay characters in 16 different series. This coming season there will be 9 gay characters in 8 different series. Also mentions the possiblity of the creation of a gay cable TV channel.

Special Weapons Primer: Nuclear Weapons- do you really want to decide for yourself whether or not Iraq has nuclear weapons, and examine the evidence personally? Well, you'll probably want to read this first, a relatively easy-to-understand, step-by-step explanation about what is needed to create nuclear weapons. By the Federation of American Scientists, an organization of scientists dedicated to ending the arms race.

Group May Estimate Effects of Tax Cuts- Republicans in Congress lobby for the use of Enron-style kwazy accounting methods in reports by the Congressional Budget Office.

Rumsfeld Makes Case for War- Skeletor Rumsfeld speaks before the Congress about how Saddam Hussein is bad. LA Times prints a misleading sub-head for the article based on Rumsfeld's testimony. "Congress: Iraqi regime is world's greatest threat, he tells lawmakers. U.N. remains unconvinced" says the LAT. Rumsfeld's actual words, "No terrorist state poses a greater and more immediate threat to the security of our people and the stability of the world than the regime of Saddam Hussein in Iraq." What the hell is a "terrorist state?" Anything you want it to be, really, which makes the sentence meaningless.

AJC Launches Pro-Israel Ads- the American Jewish Committee has prepared 30-second commercials to air in the U.S. to rally support for Israel. It praises Israel's government as democratic and its protection of the rights of its citizens, trying to draw parallels between Israeli society and American society. But I found it disturbing that the ad seeks to drum up U.S. support by claiming that it is "America's only real ally in the Middle East." The ad continues with that sort of thread, that Israel is good and the other Middle Eastern nations suck. I also couldn't help but snicker at the ad's conclusion. With the U.S. itching for war with Iraq, and Israel sending tanks into Arafat's compound, who could disagree that the U.S. and Israel have "shared visions of peace for the future"?

Rumsfeld Indicates Nuclear Status Key to Pre-Emption Policy- Stratfor analyzes recent statements by Rumsfeld and surmises that the new U.S. "pre-emptive attack" policy is not about making sure that no "evil" nations have nuclear weapons, but is about preventing non-nuclear nations (like Iraq) from obtaining nuclear weapons.

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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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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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