Posts from July 2003

Prefab

Prefab
: Michael Graves, the architect who made Target classy, is advertising pavilions — prefab gazebos and buildings that remind me of the old house kits sold by Sears. Price: $25K plus installion (read: $40k).

Another jailed Internet journalist

Another jailed Internet journalist
: I got email today from the Committee to Protect Journalists:

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), a New York-based press freedom advocacy group is writing to request your signature on a petition we will present to Tunisian President Zine El Abdine Ben Ali, asking for the release of imprisoned Tunisian Internet journalist, Zouhair Yahyaoui.

Yahyaoui, 35, has been in jail since June 4, 2002 after authorities arrested him at the Internet cafe where he worked. The website he ran under a pseudonym, Tunezine.com (similar to a blog) carried material critical of the regime and of the Tunisian president, and on June 20, 2002, he was sentenced to 28 months in jail after being found guilty of publishing false information and using stolen communication lines to post his site. An appeals court later reduced the sentence to exactly two years. Yahyaoui’s only transgression was that he dared challenge the government, something few journalists do in a police state like Tunisia which has imprisoned, assaulted and harassed critical journalists since Ben Ali came to power in 1987.

As part of CPJ’s campaign, we are hoping to gain the support of his fellow Internet journalists here in the United States, (who luckily, will not suffer the same fate as Zouhair Yahyaoui for being critical of the government.)

See press releases on the case here and here.

Sigh

Sigh
: Don’t you just hate it when your allies do something stupid, offensive, and generally indefensible?

Israel’s parliament passed a measure Thursday that would force Palestinians who marry Israelis to live separate lives or move out of Israel. The government said the law was necessary to prevent terror attacks, but critics called it racist.

The mullah or Rome

The mullah or Rome
: Says blogger Amr Malik:

The pope came out (here is wordplay for ya) against homo-sexual marriages. I don’t really think much of the institution of “marriage” to begin with, but the latest announcement by the Pope seems to me the throwing down of the gauntlet….

How is this different from the Taliban? The difference is that of degrees, not of philosophical background….

Why is everyone so calm when its Cathalocism and not Islam?

Damned good question.

Innocent until tried by headline

Innocent until tried by headline
: A top TV presenter in Britain whose reputation and career were destroyed by an accusation of rape has just been cleared of the charges.

And this has led to a debate over whether those accused of rape — and not just their accusers — should have their identities withheld.

There’s a fallacy in the logic here that leads to something we don’t believe in here (well, excepting that nasty little business of suspected terrorists being arrested in secret): The law and its enforcement must be transparent to protect the accused and so the accused can face his accuser and so his justice is meted out under public scrutiny.

In the case of rape, it’s not transparent because the accuser’s name is withheld and that leads down this slippery slope.

Rape is no longer seen as the shame of the victim. It is a crime like any other and needs to be treated like any other. This case and Kobe Bryant’s lead us there.

Hear here

Hear here
: Christopher Lydon is doing an amazing job creating a soundtrack for the blogosphere, interviewing many of its leading lights [I just erased the post with all the direct links, so, to hell with it, go to the page and scroll]: Glenn Reynolds today, David Weinberger, David Sifry, Dave Winer, Doc Searls, Ed Cone, Eugene Volokh. I was just writing that post about how good it is when I saw the Winer put up the story behind it here.

Fickle finger of blame

Fickle finger of blame
: I’m glad I’m no longer the only one saying this: There was nothing wrong with the British government releasing the name of David Kelly. The BBC had an obligation not to reveal its source but to the government, it’s fair game. Yet after the guy offed himself, gushy brains tried to make this the government’s fault. It’s not their fault for releasing the name. It’s not their fault that he killed himself. In the Scotsman:

PETER Hain raised fresh questions yesterday about the extent of the government

Complain, complain, complain

Complain, complain, complain
: The “public editor” of the New York Times has to be the worst job in journalism.