....LMB: "Random Reports"....

September 12, 2004

U.S.: Korea Cloud Not From Nuclear Blast- this article really needs to come first. Apparently a "mushroom cloud" has been seen in North Korea, leading to fear that NK has tested a nuclear weapon. However it is my understanding that a nuclear explosion would cause such a jolt that it would register on all the world's earthquake-meters, and the world's seismologists have not noticed such a jump. Therefore it is probably some other explosion/fire/accident/something.

September 11 and Its Aftermath- Middle East scholar Juan Cole reflects upon the war on terrorism, and sadly concludes:

Although the United States and its Pakistani ally have captured significant numbers of al-Qaeda operatives in Afghanistan and Pakistan, a whole new generation of angry young Muslim men has been produced. Al-Qaeda has moved from being a concrete cell-based terrorist organization to being an ideal and a model, for small local groups in Casablanca, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia and elsewhere.

The US is not winning the war on terror. Al-Qaeda also has by no means won. But across a whole range of objectives, al-Qaeda has accomplished more of its goals than the US has of its.

You should go read the whole thing though.

Three Years After 9/11: More than 40% of Americans Still Think Saddam Did It- sigh.

Laura Bush Given a Sex Education Class- When Laura Bush came campaigning in Lewiston, Maine last week, "A group of citizens outside of the church where she was speaking took sex education into their own hands by bringing it to the streets! At one point about twenty women lined up to show laura and the other republicans how condoms work by demonstrating with bananas. The crowd loved it and this creative action we a great media spectacle to get the point across that if our school cant get funding or wont teach sex education other than the bush's faith based abstinence campaign, we will take matters into our own hands."

Video of the protest here

Both Candidates Often Shift Positions- the Associated Press reports that both Kerry and Bush do a lot of "flip-flopping." In the real world, "flip-flopping" is known as "changing your mind," and people do it all the time without being cowards or traitors.

Facing the Copyright Rap- sigh. A federal judge has ruled that every time a musician uses a sample from another song in their own work, that they must pay royalties to the creator of that other song. In the past, it had been legal to sample other works for free, so long as the sample was not recognizable. "We do not see this as stifling creativity in any significant way," said the judges, who are obviously idiots. Rap music is largely based upon taking samples of existing music and mixing, altering, and recontextualizing it into a new song. But no, forcing rappers to pay for every single sample they use won't stifle their creativity. Bankruptcy will.

My Book Is Porn? Sure Did Fool Me- heh. Commentary by the author of the children's book "The Boy Who Looked Like Lincoln." According to the author, the main storyline of the book is that The Boy is "sent to a summer camp for kids who look like things: toasters, bowling pins, The Titanic." The book's punchline is the introduction of The Boy's younger brother "Dickie", who looks like Richard Nixon. And conservative group's are outraged, assuming for some reason that the little Nixon-looking boy (complete with 5 o'clock shadow and tape recorder), is supposed to be A Boy Who Looks Like a Penis. Which really is about as Freudian as you wanna get.

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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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contact: jake+at+lyingmediabastards.com

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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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