....LMB: "Two More"....

February 06, 2003

Geov Parrish and Robert Fisk argue that Colin Powell didn't prove a damn thing in his UN presentation.

Some of the best points:

- Geov reminds us that we won't be "launching" a war on Iraq, but an "escalation." The US and UK have been bombing Iraq pretty regularly since the early 90s.

- Geov on Powell's evidence. "There is still absolutely no evidence that the Iraqi government, now or at any foreseeable point in the future, poses a security threat even to its immediate neighbors -- let alone to the United States, halfway around the world. There is no evidence that Iraq, a country whose military is a fifth of its size ten years ago, a country crippled militarily (and in many other ways) by the most rigorous sanctions in world history, a country whose every move is closely monitored, a country which knows that any aggressive twitch would be instantly suicidal, now even possesses the capacity to inflict harm on any other country -- let alone is a threat to do so, and let alone that the United States is among those threatened."

- Geov on the "link" between Al Qaeda and Iraq. "A man seeks medical care in the only city in Southwest Asia that has both the medical facilities needed to treat him effectively and a government that would not arrest him as soon as the Americans asked them to do so. The leaps necessary to get from that point to the it-requires-war point would exhaust Superman. They include the man's guilt on the alleged charges against him; his group's association with Al-Qaeda and/or capacity to inflict damage against the United States; any evidence that the Iraqi government made contact with him -- let alone significant contact, let alone had a working relationship while he was in the country; evidence that such a relationship could overcome, and survive, the deep-seated animosity and strong political, ideological, and especially religious differences between the two parties (Saddam Hussein's government and Islamic fundamentalist groups like Al-Qaeda); and evidence that the threat thus established is serious enough to warrant an invasion and overthrow of Iraq's government."

- Fisk feels that the telephone conversation and graphics were rather silly.

- He points out that Powell's claim of "decades" of contact between Saddam and Al Qaeda is impossible, as Al Qaeda was only formed 5 years ago.

- While Powell pointed out that Iraq had ties to Hamas, Fisk reminds us that Hamas has official headquarters in the capitols of Lebanon, Syria and Iran, but not in Iraq.

Posted by Jake at 10:29 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.

Posted by Jake at 04:02 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)
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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.

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Result: not entirely edible.

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