Posts from December 2003

A game of teleclick

A game of teleclick
: Watch a meme try to sprout…

Scott Rosenberg links to Josh Marshall who links to Juan Cole who quotes an email from Tom Collier on the battle in Samarra.

By the time it reaches Rosenberg, he’s hinting at body-count inflation and credibility gaps and other juicy Vietnam nostalgia: “54 Saddam loyalists dead? Or American soldiers firing on Iraqi civilians? It would be so much more reassuring to believe our side’s version of the story. If only our side had a better track record of telling the truth. But we’re too busy making up stories about our president’s bravery.” Marshall links to the BBC and says the story gets “muddier.”

But, get this: The consistently, militantly one-sided (anti-Iraq-war) Cole is less one-sided on this than these links would indicate. He gives a reason why the fighters would have removed bodies (rather than have their fallen buried by us infidels) and he and Collier emphasize that Collier’s email is “pure speculation.” That caveat didn’t stick to the meme as it passed through the blogstream.

: UPDATE: Rosenberg says I misinterpret. No, I stand by my interpretation. But you judge.

PBS lemmings

PBS lemmings
: Somebody is finally doing this story: PBS pledge weeks used to be just dull. Now they are horrendous exercises in bad taste and bad sense — worse than anything on network TV. They expose as a lie the belief that PBS viewers are smarter, better educated, and have more taste than the rest of us. Nope. PBS viewers are culture trash.

The Wall Street Journal lists the top 10 pledge programs:

1. Doo Wop 50

2. 3 Tenors — Los Angeles

3. Suze Orman: Courage to Be Rich

4. Les Miserables

5. 9 Steps for Financial Freedom with Suze Orman

6. Riverdance

7. Yanni: Live at the Acropolis

8. Rock, Rhythm and Doo Wop

9. Suze Orman: The Road to Wealth

10. How to Live Forever with Gary Null

It’s all cults and cultural crap.

Compare that with the Top 10 network shows and tell me that PBS viewers deserve to be snotty.

When I was as TV critic, I couldn’t stand the witless twits who’d brag to me that they watched only PBS. But I guess they were all happier than I am in life. For they have Deepak Chopra.

The whole world is clicking

The whole world is clicking
: Pedram explains Hoder’s strategy behind running for the Iranian Parliament:

As I am writing this, Hoder is busy designing yet another web site. This one will be different. It’s not about him, it’s about you. You as in you, the Iranians who have been “left out” by this regime. This is what I mean; in the upcoming parliamentary elections, you can run as a candidate IF amongst other things, you pledge allegiance to Velayate Faghih (supreme leader) clause of the constitution, have a bachelor’s degree or higher, are at least 30 years old (and not older than 75), and be able to see, speak and hear.

In other words, nobody with a different opinion, nobody from lower classes or smaller towns and villages who have little access to higher education, nobody from the 60% of the population that is born after 1979 and no person with disabilities can even apply. Not to mention that if you still fit into the narrow category above, then an ultra-conservative council will review your qualifications and decides if you are allowed to run or not. In summary, only the narrowest of the a very narrow portion of Iranians are even allowed to consider the option.

So, the question is not whether Hoder should or could run or not. It is basically to stress the fact that choice does not really exists in any election held under these circumstances.

The site being developed, is a symbolic response to just that issue…. On this site, you will be encouraged to “run”, as it is your basic human and political right to do so….

Let us show the “conservatives”, the “reformers”, the “progressives” and the “extremists” inside the Iranian regime, what they are missing. Let them see how wonderful the idea of diversity is.

Yes, show them how wonderful the idea of democracy is.

: UPDATE: Hoder explains it himself.

No go Kyoto

No go Kyoto
: I’m not sure exactly what I think about the Kyoto treaty but since we’ve been demonized on the topic, let’s note these two news stories today:

1: “Fifteen years of international effort to combat climate change appeared doomed last night after Russia said it would not ratify the Kyoto protocol, the world treaty on global warming. Russian ratification is necessary for the treaty to take effect.”

2: “The Kyoto climate change pact looked to be in trouble last night after the European commission warned that 13 of the EU’s 15 member states were set to miss their emission reduction targets by a huge margin.”

So is it still all our fault? Oh, that’s right, yes, everything is….

Maybe he can make Saddam his running mate

Maybe he can make Saddam his running mate
: In a fit of electoral ego, or is it optimism…

Slobodan Milosevic, the former Serb president on trial for war crimes, is to run for office from his prison cell….

An official of the Slobodan Milosevic-Socialist Party of Serbia said: “It was his wish for the Socialist list to be named after him and also to be the first candidate.”