Posts from April 2003


: Go read Ken Layne on the case of the newspaper blogger who was shut down.

How low can spam go?

How low can spam go?
: I just go my first spam “from” Iraq in the Nigerian spam tradition: “This transaction is now only known by you, myself and my old sick mother.”

… and a million other victims of your sick, criminal trespass.

No soup for you, Jacques

No soup for you, Jacques
: My favorite line from Bush’s interview with Brokaw: Asked about Chirac, Bush says: “I doubt he’ll be coming to the ranch anytime soon.”

I’m going to get in trouble for this

I’m going to get in trouble for this
: I’m sorry. I can’t help myself. After hearing the news that youths are being held with other Afghan terrorists and combatants in Cuba, I can’t get Alan King’s Hello, Muddah, Hello, Faddah tune out of my head but with new lyrics:

Hello, Mullah

Hello, Fatwa,

Here I am at

Camp Guantanamo!

They’ve got Korans,

With lots of pages,

They’ve got really big Marines

who guard us in our cages.

But seriously, folks
: OK, I’m sorry. That was wrong. Hold your comments…

When I first heard that juveniles were being held at Guantanamo, I was disturbed.

But yesterday, I listened to the Pentagon briefing reminding us that these youth were alleged to have killed people. And I looked back at some news stories about youth — youth! — being sent in as human bombs by Palestinian nuts. And I reminded myself that these people do not respect their own youth; they send them into battle. I also watched the news, on which a Pennsylvania youth shot up his school; we’ve put these youth in jail.

So holding youth may not be unjustified.

But at the same time, we should not be stupid as we try to win not just wars but also hearts and minds. Is it worth holding a terrorist teen when it’s going to make us look bad?

Amen to that

Amen to that
: Rumsfeld says the government of Iraq will not be an Iranian-style government run by clerics. Finally, somebody said it.

Liberal New York no longer

Liberal New York no longer
: New York was supposed to be the capital of the left but now the NY Observer declares our Apple the capital of neoconservatives. The story gives us a map to NY Neos — ground zero being, of course, Rupert Murdoch’s HQ on Sixth Avenue. It gives us Neo history. And it give us Neo humor:

“I have been amazed by the level of conspiracy-mongering around neocons,” said David Brooks, an editor at Mr. Murdoch and Mr. Kristol

Sina Motallebi update: Day 4

Sina Motallebi update: Day 4
: Hoder gives us an update on the arrest of an Iranian blogger. Other Iranian bloggers are, understandably, scared.

: I pick out an Iranian weblog at random from Hoder’s blogroll and here’s what I read:

Apparently the fall of the dictator has had a big impact on Iranian Islamic regime. Those who are in control who possess non-elected power have already felt something.

Recently, a lot of web sites have been banned by a direct instruction from Iranian ministry of telecom. This list includes hadisara, home page of satirist Hadi Khorsandi. Also an entertainment web site called roozi.

But most amazing of them all, is nedstat, which is a hit counter I am using….

I’ve been trying to stay out of trouble; Stay away from politics. But this one [that is, the arrest of Sina Motallebi -ed.] has nothing to do with politics. It’s just jeopardizing my freedom of expression. Arresting this guy just because he expresses his ideas in his weblog is not reasonable in a modern world.

This stupid act will lead to anonymous weblogs (like mine) which are much harder to control.

: And this:

No pain no gain? So tell me how many thousand years we’re to suffer before we can finally gain our Democracy? …

What factors gave rise to the cold war between the Mullahs and Iranian Journalists?

There are at least twenty million people who have similar views as these journalists!

How many more Iranians will end up in the oppressive Iranian regime’s prisons?

: And read this, too — the target is the Internet:

Arrest of Sina Motallebi isn

Media ironies

Media ironies
: Ted Turner complains that too few companies own too much of U.S. media.

But, Ted, you sold your media company to a media company; you singlehandedly reduced the number of media owners in the U.S. Seller’s regret, I guess.

: Ted also called Rupert Murdoch a “warmonger” because of FoxNews’ support of the war and the Guardian explains: “Mr Murdoch openly backed the war on Iraq but the unquestioning support of his Fox News channel has caused controversy and astounded UK broadcasters, which are bound by law to maintain impartial and balanced news services.”

Bound by law? Now that’s a hard law to enforce.

And if it were enforced, would the BBC stay out of the pokey for its opposite view of the war?

: Well, in its own fog of war, the BBC thinks it’s enforcing that law of balance. BBC General Director Greg Dyke said in a speech reported by the BBC, of course: “If Iraq proved anything, it was that the BBC cannot afford to mix patriotism and journalism. This is happening in the United States and if it continues will undermine the credibility of the US electronic news media.” Ask Andrew Sullivan whether he agrees.

: The problem here is, again, that FoxNews proved to be a gigantic success in the war and nobody in media quite knows what to do with that.

I’ve said before that — thanks to the success of FoxNews, the breadth of viewpoints that cable choice allows, and the open expression that weblogs allow, and the audience’s embrace of all that — we are headed to a new media world in which credibility still counts (of course) but in which opinion and perspective aren’t necessarily the antithesis to credibility that American journalism — and, if we are to believe them, British TV journalism, cough, cough — have long held. We are headed to a world in which news is more compelling and less purposely dull. We are headed to a world in which news matters more.

And, by the way, key to this view is trust in the intelligence of the audience, the people: They can decide what’s fact and what’s opinion and what their own opinions should be.

: Tim Blair says all this more eloquently than I could. Plus, it sounds tougher with his accent.