....LMB: "Democratic Shrink"....

July 11, 2004

So last week, Tom Ridge of the Office of Homeland Security announced that Al Qaeda was planning to attack the US to disrupt American elections.

First of all, I've stopped believing in these damn terrorist warnings. The government always announces that they have mysterious but credible evidence that terrorists are talking about attacking a nuclear reactor or a ferry or a highway or dry cleaners or clown college, somewhere in the coastal-desert-mountain-southern-northern-eastern part of the country, next week or this winter or in 2025. Then nothing happens. They're making shit up or are getting bad info, either way I can't trust that much. Or, perhaps Homeland Security is defeating the terrorists and foiling their plans, but somehow that never really crosses my mind.

With regards to this latest announcement, the FBI is saying that they haven't gotten any new terror info in the past six weeks, so you've gotta wonder why Homeland Security is brining this up now.

But that's not the kicker. The kicker is that the government is apparently talking about postponing the presidential elections in case of terrorist attack.

Read that again.

Let's pretend for a minute that this isn't way, way, way shady (and I don't think I could pretend for much longer than that), and ponder the idea of postponing an election due to violence.

Two words: East Timor.

East Timor is a small island country that was conquered by Indonesia back in the 1970s. The Indonesian army killed a few hundred thousand Timorese over the course of a couple decades, and when there were finally talks about East Timor becoming independent in the late 1990s, Indonesia started supplying and supporting thug militias to intimidate the Timorese people. As promised, the militias killed a lot of innocent people before the election. And after the election, the millitias went on a killing spree, and turned hundreds of thousands into refugees.

Still, under a cloud of fear and death, 90% of the Timorese turned out to the polls and voted for freedom.

When I think of that, the idea of postponing the American elections in case of a terrorist attack, no matter how heinous, is not only unnecessary, not only ridiculous, but offensive.

American democracy is pretty minimal. We don't get to vote directly, we only get to vote for representatives who will then vote for us. And, of those potential representatives, we get to select one of two white male millionaires who will generally vote in favor of large corporations instead of us.

Still, I utterly reject this idea of taking this tiny sliver of democracy away. If they can take it away for a little while, they can take it away for longer. Or whenever they want.

Posted by Jake at 11:32 PM | TrackBack (1)

Sinking Bush Poll Numbers Increase Likelihood of Terrorist Attack, Says Ridge
Connection Unfathomable, Say Rove, Cheney

Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge announced today that analysts had concluded that the likelihood of a terrorist strike in America increases whenever the President's popularity rating declines.

"There's a distinct correlation between the President's popularity ratings and increased terrorist activity," said Ridge. "Whenever President Bush's numbers go down, it's far more likely that we will be attacked by al Qaeda."

"The only thing we can advise is for U.S. citizens to like President Bush as much as possible to keep us all safe," Ridge concluded.

Standing in front of a wall of high-tech flat screen monitors, Ridge addressed reporters in the new Department of Homeland Security Security Operations Center.

"I can't for the political life of me say why this is happening," said Ridge. "I'm utterly stumped."

Ridge denied that Gilligan's Island was showing on one of the many screens behind him. "Oh, no," he said. "That's an uncharted desert isle."


Posted by: jeff at July 12, 2004 07:54 AM

Scariest propaganda I've seen yet from the mouthpiece media orgs.

Posted by: nobody cares at July 12, 2004 01:46 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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