Posts from July 2005

On the air

I’m going to be on Pundit Review Radio in Boston and online tonight about 9:20p ET.

Uh, Senator…

I’m eager for the transcript of this morning’s Face the Nation to come out, because as I was listening to a discussion of Bill Frist and stem cell this morning, I thought I heard Sen. Sam Brownback say that this would be the first case of using taxpayer money to intentionally end human life. Uh, Senator, what about capital punishment… and war?

UPDATE: Yes, he said it:

SCHIEFFER: So you’re going to let this go then? You’re going to be for this?

Sen. BROWNBACK: No, what I thi–no, I’m not going to be for this. This is a big step. This will be one of, I believe, the first time we’ve ever used taxpayer money to pay for the intentional destruction of human life and that’s what this does. But what I’m focused on is let’s get a package of votes together. Let’s do this one but then let’s also take up the issue of human cloning. Let’s also take up the issue of the creation of embryos, just human embryos, just for the purpose of researching. Let’s do all those together. Let’s vote on all of them. Let’s move the whole package and have this debate with the country.

Dell hell: by the numbers

Matt Galloway tries to do some analysis of the blog bitching about Dell after I started complaining about my lemon.


Says Matt:

The interesting thing here is that once Jeff started attacking Dell – and others started talking about Jeff attacking Dell – the number of people that wrote post about Dell including at least one of Jeff’s negative words increased. Furthermore, these are generally not posts that are talking about Jarvis!

In other words, he says that it contributed to bad buzz about Dell. Of course, there could also be other coincidental factors (like Dell closing a customer forum). And I think that a blogger bringing up a complaint you already have gives you the peg to mention that complaint yourself.

Matt concludes:

So is Jeff Jarvis bell cow or bellwether? Either way, I think Dell would be better off doing more that just listening.

It’s cow week here at BuzzMachine.

You expected maybe the Donald Rumsfeld fan club?

The Observer thinks it has found big news in a report that the London bombers didn’t like the war in Iraq:

One of the men accused of taking part in the failed terror attacks in London on 21 July has claimed the bomb plot was directly inspired by Britain’s involvement in the Iraq war.

In a remarkable insight into the motives behind the alleged would-be bombers, Hussain Osman, arrested in Rome on Friday, has revealed how the suspects watched hours of TV footage showing grief-stricken Iraqi widows and children alongside images of civilians killed in the conflict. He is alleged to have told prosecutors that after watching the footage: ‘There was a feeling of hatred and a conviction that it was necessary to give a signal – to do something.’

“Remarkable insight?” How about obscene spin?

But quite convenient spin, it is, for those who would try to blame Britain for the attack on Britain.

Yet in this next paragraph, there’s an entirely different obscene spin:

But some of the Italian media reports told a conflicting story. Some reports quoted Osman as saying: ‘I hardly know anything. They only gave me a rucksack to carry on the tube in London. We wanted to stage an attack, but only as a show. Who gave me the explosive? I don’t know. I didn’t know him. I don’t remember. We didn’t want to kill, we just wanted to scare people.’

As if we should believe and give credence for a moment what these terrorists say.

: Meanwhile, on this side of the ocean, The Times tries to understand more of the terrorists:

Mr. Khan, Mr. Tanweer and Mr. Hussain were part of a larger clique of young British-raised South Asian men in Beeston, a neighborhood of Leeds, who turned their backs on what they came to see as a decadent, demoralizing Western culture. Instead, the group embraced an Islam whose practice was often far more fundamentalist than their fathers’, and always more political, focused passionately on Muslim suffering at Western hands.

In many ways, the transformation has had positive elements: the men live healthier and more constructive lives than many of their peers here, Asian or white, who have fallen prey to drugs, alcohol or petty crime. Why Mr. Khan, Mr. Tanweer and Mr. Hussain in particular crossed a line that no one had before, how they and Mr. Lindsay linked up, or whether their plot was homegrown or steered from outside, remain mysteries, at least to the public.

But the question asked since their identities were revealed after the bombings continues to resonate: what motivated men reared thousands of miles from the cradles of the Muslim world, without any direct experience of oppression themselves, to bomb fellow Britons, ushering in a new chapter of terrorism.

Many here see answers in the sense of injustice at events both at home and abroad that is far more widespread among Muslims than many Westerners recognize; in the rigid and deeply political form of Islam that increasing numbers of educated European Muslims are gravitating to; in the difficulty some children of Muslim immigrants in Europe have had in finding their place or direction.

Note all the PC language and thinking in that excerpt: Muslim suffering… The religion has positive elements…. They were the first to go bad and everyone else is good… They have trouble finding their place….

And then there is the most misused word of all: injustice.

The injustice of terrorism is against the victims.

: I am not saying that we should not report what these slime say — especially if it leads us to bin Laden et al. Neither am I saying that we should not investigate their lives, just as we investigate the lives of murderers and criminals.

But enough of this effort to portray them as angry young men with motives that could possibly make sense or for a moment justify their actions. They are murderers. They are terrorists. They have no cause.

Armed cow

I said cash cows kill courage and innovation in media. John Robb says it’s true for defense, as well:

Everything Jeff Jarvis says here applies to the US DoD. The systems that bring in the big bucks are nearly useless in our current security environment yet they suck up the majority of funding. Unfortunately, those big budget programs are also the source of power in the Pentagon.

In what other industries and segments of society is it true that the cash cow kills change?