....LMB: "Halftime Show"....

January 26, 2003

The Nuclear Option in Iraq- U.S. Strategic Command reviews military policy regarding nuclear weapons, possibly saying that using them should not necessarily be absolute last resort. My personal opinion is that this is a PR ploy that I'm going to call a "softener" (until I find out the real technical name). Bush and his crew decide on a crazy policy, then come up with a decoy policy that is two levels crazier, and tell the public their thinking about the latter. Public goes crazy, pundits and politicians rally their forces, and several days later, the Bushies "compromise" and scale down to the policy they'd wanted in the first place. The public breathes a sigh of releif, and Bush's opponents puff out their chests, sure that they helped shape the administration. But no one seems to realize that the new policy is still crazy. It's like Bush changing his policy from, say, stabbing an old woman with a samurai sword, to stabbing an old woman with a combat knife. While the final position is less extreme, neither choice is what I'd call "acceptable."

FINDING GOOD REASON FOR WAR COULD TAKE MONTHS, BUSH WARNS- "US Prepared to Fight With or Without Reason, President Assures Nation". As Tom Spencer says, The Borowitz Report rides the edge between satire and truth.

Affirmative Action: How much does it cost whites?- interesting blog entry with the results of a year-old study comparing the admission rates of whites to universities with and without affirmative action programs. For students with high SAT scores, the admission rates are about 0.3% lower. For students with low SAT scores, the admission rates are about 3.0% lower.

Dick Cheney Inc. vs. Human Rights- two posts on the Body and Soul blog that implicate corporations run by Dick Cheney in schemes smashing human rights in return for massive profits. Post 1 and Post 2

The Soul of the Law- pompous wind from conservative Robert Bork which berates the Supreme Court for supporting abortion, but mainly bashes international courts. Best quote: "We know from experience that international tribunals and forums will not be friendly to the U.S. When the U.S. aided the Nicaraguan insurgency, the International Court of Justice, despite having no jurisdiction, ruled that the U.S. had violated customary international law." Um, no one should expect "friendly" treatment from a court, Mr. Bork, they should expect "fair" treatment from a court. And no matter what the jurisiction, I presume that most respectable courts would rule that organizing violent thugs to terrorize a foreign nation into regime change violates some sort of law.

Posted by Jake at 05:30 PM
Comments

regarding your observations about bush's nuclear weapon policy on iraq...it's bush's MO on pretty much all domestic and foreign policy. So it's not really anything new in this instance. not quite sure what the columnists call this, but i first saw something about it in the economist in an article about 7 months ago. actually, i dont think they had a term for it.
but at the time, they were describing bush's economic policy.

Posted by: art at January 26, 2003 08:42 PM

regarding your observations about bush's nuclear weapon policy on iraq...it's bush's MO on pretty much all domestic and foreign policy. So it's not really anything new in this instance. not quite sure what the columnists call this, but i first saw something about it in the economist in an article about 7 months ago. actually, i dont think they had a term for it.
but at the time, they were describing bush's economic policy.

Posted by: art at January 26, 2003 08:42 PM

Bork is Pork.

Posted by: Eric at January 27, 2003 11:16 PM
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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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Jake's first attempt at homemade Mongolican barbecue:

Failure.

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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