in lieu of radio ...

a somewhat random collection of pages and thoughts started sept 16 2001. now that i'm not on the radio 6 hours every day, blogger allows all of us to harangue...

Sunday, October 27, 2002

Peter Preston says time has finally run out for one grand old global newspaper - without its brand, it is nothing NYT takeover can only herald end for the Trib (The Observer UK)

America's most controversial novelist calls for an investigation into whether the Bush administration deliberately allowed the terrorist attacks to happen Unfortunately, becasue of rights issues the full Vidal piece is not available online..... Gore Vidal claims 'Bush junta' complicit in 9/11 (The Observer UK)

Wednesday, October 23, 2002

Nice! Reporters Without Borders has a chart of the first worldwide press freedom index (and a pretty graphic too). USA is 17th, UK is tied for 21st. Slovenia and Costa Rica are above both.
Here is the list from 85 to 100. A major Middle Eastern democracy should be doing better... 85:Burkina Faso 86:Tajikistan 87:Chad 88:Cameroun 89:Morocco tied Philippines tied Swaziland 92:Israel 93:Angola 94:Guinea-Bissau 95:Algeria 96:Djibouti 97:Togo 98:Kyrgyzstan 99:Jordan tied Turkey

Methodology should improve over time, but for the moment, this page explains it

Available at (thanks to S for the link)

Tuesday, October 22, 2002

Richard Stallman on M$, "Trusted Computing" and PAlladium. Direct, reasonably concise and just the right amount of ideological haranguing... Link: Can you trust your computer?

From Politechbot:

The head of the National Security Agency said last week that Congress might want to aim the most powerful surveillance system in the world at American citizens.

Lt. Gen. Michael Hayden, in a rare public appearance before the Senate Intelligence committee, said the ongoing terrorist threat means America needs to debate where to draw the line between foreign and domestic surveillance. Currently the NSA is prohibited from spying domestically.

Here's an excerpt:

"Where do we draw the line between the government's need for (counter-terrorism) information about people in the United States and the privacy interests of people located in the United States? This line-drawing affects the focus of NSA's activities, foreign versus domestic... the type of data NSA is permitted to collect and how, and the rules under which NSA retains and disseminates information about U.S. persons."

Until the 1970s, when the Senate's Church Committee revealed what had been going on in secret, the CIA and the NSA conducted illegal surveillance on American citizens. In response, Congress enacted a series of reforms, notably the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

"These are serious issues that the country addressed, and resolved to its satisfaction, once before in the mid-1970's," Hayden said. "In light of the events of September 11th, it is appropriate that we, as a country, readdress them. We need to get it right."

PDF of Hayden Testimony

Monday, October 21, 2002

Precise point by point takedown of the Dems' bumbling on Iraq, handing power to the prez and the sound of backfiring as the election looms. Leading Democrats had a plan: vote in favor of the resolution authorizing George W. Bush to attack Iraq whenever and however he sees fit, and take the knotty issue of Iraq off the table in time to promote more Democratic-friendly topics before the congressional elections. Now that worked well... The Loyal Opposition: Can Democrats Spell 'Disconnect'? (

Sunday, October 20, 2002

Clinton's "privacy czar" says we should remember our history... Privacy Czar: Past Haunts Present (Wired News)

Saturday, October 19, 2002

Loooooong Krugman on income disparity in USA. Lots of well-argued points, not too dense. Selective use of census and tax statists wel presented. Link: For Richer (NYT Mag - "free" reg. req.)

Very little noise about the ongoing defiance of the Cheney admistration of the legal order to release energy task force info. Let's not forget that they want just the names, meeting dates and official agendas, not transcripts of what was actually said. Link: Judge calls for Cheney documents a second time (Houston Chronicle / Washington Post)

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Ted Gulp has a long piece on the Washington reporting since Sept. 11 2001. Some good stuff about the Bushies determination to control all information. The most sobering pull-quote: At the Justice Department, Totenberg notes, contact with the media is monitored and a representative from the press office sits in on interviews. So Ashcrof sends minders along to interviews??!!! Like Saddam and Castro, huh? Link: New Climate, Old Culture (CJR) (thanks to L for the hint)

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Thursday, October 10, 2002

Aha. After listening to endless drums of war based on "Saddam's ignoring the security council resolutions", I had been hoping that someone would put together this list: United Nations Security Council Resolutions Currently Being Violated by Countries Other than Iraq (Stephen Zunes, Foreign Policy In Focus). Question: Will the Bushies try to "correct" all the other violations? Note: Because of veto power, the list includes only resolutions where the United States voted in the affirmative or abstained. article also takes pains to note the reasons that 242 and 338 are not on the list.

Tuesday, October 08, 2002

Excellent, sorrowful screed about the different ways in which Israel looks at two sets of armed camps and atrocities. Always a fighter, always a terrorist (Amira Haas, Ha'aretz)

Now, this is interesting. Be careful who you touch!!

Sunday, October 06, 2002

Yes, it gets cleaned up in the translation to the page, but when was the last time our fearless shrub-like leader was so eloquest? When was the last time he was this eloquent speaking extemporaneaously? Sure, Robert Byrd has his faults, but this kinda stuff washes away alotta sins... Link: Senate Remarks: Rush to War Ignores U.S. Constitution

The Yanks are out of the post season. To be expected when they inexplicably lost their patience at the plate all season long. Now I'm going to root for the Twins. Just to see that po-faced goon Bud Selig have to give the trophy to the team he tried to contract!! (BTW: Since the advent of revanue sharing and salary caps in the NFL, and even adjusting for the extra levels of post-season play, there have been more different teams in the World Series than in the Super Bowl.)

Saturday, October 05, 2002

On point think piece from the president of the American Anti-Slavery Group. Of course, ignoring Sudan's atrocities does not excuse anyone else's. Link: Why Israel and not Sudan, is singled out (Boston Globe) thanks to L for the link.

Friday, October 04, 2002

U.S. District Judge John D. Bates, who heard the case, lamented ambiguities in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which was enacted to uphold copyright laws on the Internet while shielding technology companies from direct liability. Link: Verizon resists music industry's request to identify alleged music pirate ( / Mercury News)

Thank goodness for The Onion! Link: RIAA Sues Radio Stations for Giving Away Free Music (The Onion)

Tuesday, October 01, 2002

But it's really peer-to-peer that is causing the fall in CD sales, really... no... honest! We're the record industry, you can belive us... Link: Music Cos to Pay $67.4 Million in Price-Fixing Case (Reuters)