....LMB: "Cursor-esque"....

June 25, 2004

Cursor is a fine news website. They recently posted some want ads for part-time work, so I applied. Part of the application was to provide a sort of real-time "be Cursor editor for a day" sample. I did mine for today. It was quite an effort, and rather than simply let the Cursor folks hog all that effort, I'll go ahead and post it here.

I guess my one regret with this is that Cursor's style and form don't jive with all of my instincts. For example, below I post some links to articles about a sudden, bizarre crackdown on latino immigrants by the Border Patrol in southern California. After the news part, I would've liked to have posted a link to the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund, an organization that is reaching out to these immigrants who are suddenly facing possible penalties and deportation, or mention that LA Spanish language talk radio station KWKW (1300 AM) is allegedly giving updates on locations where the Border Patrol is or may raid. But I know Cursor well enough to know that that would not be appropriate to their format. So you get it here.

Anyhow, onto the Jake/Cursor sample. I hope it's good, some of it was done on very little sleep.

25 June 2004

Two inside looks at the Iraqi resistance: Asia Times interviews a group of ex-Ba’athist generals who claim that the insurgency was planned long before the war began, and a Guardian reporter talks to resistance fighters on the frontlines in Kerbala, Falluja and Sadr City.

The United States is reportedly taking a softer stance in its disarmament negotiations with North Korea. The proposal would provide North Korea with security assurances and heavy fuel oil, but may have been jeopardized by North Korea’s threat to proceed with nuclear testing.

Colin Powell will visit Sudan next week to pressure the government to end the seemingly genocidal violence taking place in the western part of the country. Also: aid workers in the Sudanese capital accuse the government of blocking food supplies to the region to starve the people there.

Although the Supreme Court has ruled that Vice President Dick Cheney does not need to turn over secretive documents about his 2001 Energy Task Force, he still seems to be feeling some strain.

In other White House legal news, George W. Bush was interviewed as part of the Valerie Plame leak investigation, and Ted Olson resigns as Solicitor General.

A Los Angeles Times editorial discusses a recent, surprising crackdown on illegal immigrants, mostly latinos, by the Border Patrol. Several hundred have been arrested, and thousands are keeping to their homes in fear. Local organizations claim that these new tactics are nothing more than racial profiling.

A federal appeals court repealed the FCC’s 2003 media ownership rule changes, which allowed single companies to own significantly more media outlets in a single market.

Media Matters reports on the first broadcast of NRANews.com, a new conservative talk radio program produced by the National Rifle Association, which featured call-ins from Oliver North and G. Gordon Liddy; the NRA claims that this makes that they are a "media organization", not an "advocacy organization" and therefore are not subject to many campaign finance restrictions.

Latest article by muckraker Greg Palast finds that one million African-American votes went uncounted in the 2000 election. He blames this the "spoilage game," where some voters are given the chance to correct errors in the "spoiled" ballots, and others are not…

The Blogging of the President examines more than half a dozen single-factor methods of predicting the outcome of the 2004 election

Al Gore gave a speech yesterday accusing the Bush administration of "intentionally misleading" the American people about terrorism and Iraq. Republicans respond by announcing the "Coalition of the Wild-Eyed", releasing a montage of video footage suggesting that John Kerry and his fellow Democrats are crazed, irrational and angry.

After the release of his new book, the right-wing bashes Bill Clinton’s immorality all over again. But at the same time, liberal bloggers are now seizing on the revelations about Republican senator Jack Ryan, who tried to convince his wife to have sex with him in front of strangers at sex clubs, and are doing some bashing of their own.

President Bush gives an interview to Irish TV station RTE in which he argues that the war on Iraq has not inspired any acts of terrorism, that the world is "becoming a safer place", and that the torture at Abu Ghraib prison was the work of "a few soldiers."

Although still stressing abstinence and morality above all, Bush admits that condom use can help prevent the spread of AIDS.

Fahrenheit 9/11 breaks records in New York, wins over critics, and inspires a conservative counter-film festival in Dallas.

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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.

Both projects focus on our media-marinated world, political lies, corporate tyranny, and the folks fighting the good fight against these monsters.

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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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