If news could spread like SARS
: An expat in China who’s moving out of Beijing tries to find news about SARS on TV:
Last night I saw yet another dimension to the evils of China’s censorship machine. I was watching CNN in my hotel when a guest was introduced to dicusss how China’s lies about SARS in Beijing were damaging the nation’s political system. This sounded interesting and I sat up to listen. Suddenly, to my utter amazement, the screen went black. It stayed black for about ten minutes with no sound. Then, just as suddenly, the picture and sound came back, just in time for me to hear the announcer thanking the speaker for his time. China is still obsessed with censoring the news and will go to any lengths to keep people in the dark about its crimes, whether we’re talking about Tiananmen Square or SARS.
If democracy could spread like SARS
: A secular, pro-democracy activist in Iran issues a statement that hints at asking for outside (read: American) help there:
We invite non-governmental reformists, constitutional monarchists, religious-nationalists, socialists and all freedom lovers who understand the necessity of unity, to join us in the only alternative for liberty without bloodshed. Otherwise the oppressed people of Iran might seek other ways to escape cruelty, corruption, injustice and poverty and ask foreigners for freedom — like in Afghanistan and Iraq.
: Robert J. Lieber in The Chronicle of Higher Education does a great job of exposing, summarizing, and puncturing the conspiracy theories of the when-did-they-become-anti-Semitic-left regarding the supposed neocon cabal running the U.S. with ambitions to run the world:
A small band of neoconservative (read, Jewish) defense intellectuals, led by the “mastermind,” Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz (according to Michael Lind, writing in the New Statesman), has taken advantage of 9/11 to put their ideas over on an ignorant, inexperienced, and “easily manipulated” president (Eric Alterman in The Nation), his “elderly figurehead” Defense Secretary (as Lind put it), and the “dutiful servant of power” who is our secretary of state (Edward Said, London Review of Books).
Thus empowered, this neoconservative conspiracy, “a product of the influential Jewish-American faction of the Trotskyist movement of the ’30s and ’40s” (Lind), with its own “fanatic” and “totalitarian morality” (William Pfaff, International Herald Tribune) has fomented war with Iraq — not in the interest of the United States, but in the service of Israel’s Likud government (Patrick J. Buchanan and Alterman).
This sinister mythology is worthy of the Iraqi information minister…
[via Die Zeit]
: I Want Media interviews Tina Brown. Gawker is so jealous it could spit nails.
Beep… beep… blip!… beep…
: I have a few things in common with Gary Farber. We have blogs. And we spent time in the emergency room this week with things beeping, blipping, bleeping, and burping at us.
For me, it’s the apparently never-ending aftermath of 9.11. I breathed in a few cubic yards of pulverized building. I got pneumonia. I had a breathing test. They gave a spritz of something probably illegal in 49 states (but I could have pulled a week of all-nighters). My heart lost its rhythm (as a pasty white Protestant, my hold on rhythm is tenuous at best). It has lost its rhythm a few times since. I now take drugs. I stoke my rich, deep hypochondria. So I thought I’d lost that rhythm again but, as it turns out, I only lost the insurance company some money as they told me that earthquake in my chest every 20 seconds is just a “palpitation.” What a cute word. So I take more drugs. I go home, embarrassed. But I go home.
Gary had it worse. He had pneumonia. He had high blood pressure (high enough to squirt a firehose, it would seem). He left with powerful drugs. But, ever looking on the bright side, he notes that at least he doesn’t have SARS.
I note all this from the blog of the good Thomas Nephew, who makes mention of trying out our panting, wheezing, sweating, hallucinating blog friend’s Paypal box and that sounds like a good idea, eh?