: The comments over at the History News Network are crackling with a schoolyard brawl among various luminaries: Christopher Hitchens, Todd Gitlin, Sean Wilentz. Enjoy. [via Relapsed Catholic]
by Jeff Jarvis
You are what (they let you) eat
: Jackie is watching a sad British reality show — the debate by MPs trying to natter and nanny their citizens’ diets:
Before falling asleep, I’d been deeply engrossed in a BBC Parliament broadcast of a meeting of the House of Commons health committee. Representatives from Cadbury Schweppes and Pepsi were trying to explain to the MPs why TV advertising of junk food shouldn’t be banned. The MPs quite frankly didn’t seem to get it, with one (whose name I forget) saying with no small amount of awe in his voice, “The more effective your advertising, the more crisps and chocolate bars you’ll sell!” No sugar, Sherlock.
The concept of personal choice seems foreign to this lot, and the idea that the government should perhaps not be in the business of trying to save people from every possible bad choice they are now free to make — right down to an ill-advised packet of crisps, piece of shortbread or can of fizzy drink — seems not to have occurred to them. Or if it has, they’ve dismissed it and carried on with the desperate urge to nanny.
The end of free
: The last free Julie Burchill column here. Now she moves to The Times, which charges. She should convince her new masters to let her start a weblog and put up her columns.
: Read Iranian weblogs and you’ll pick up a current of anger at the Iranian government for not spending money to build stronger, safer structures in this earthquake-plagued nation. Iran For Dummies says:
Iran as every one knows is on the seismic line, we have experienced deadly earthquakes:
– Sept. 16, 1978; northeast Iran; magnitude 7.7; 25,000 killed.
-May 10, 1997; northern Iran; magnitude 7.1; 1,500 killed.
-June 21, 1990; northwest Iran; magnitude 7.3 to 7.7; 50,000 killed.
-June 22, 2002; northwestern Iran, magnitude 6; at least 500 killed….
They can’t refer this tragedy to Al-Qaeda; they can’t fool us with the will of God or the holy experiment placed by Allah. I as an Iranian blame this tremendous casualty and deaths on government and lack of precautions for people