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Friday, June 13, 2003
11:15 AM      

"The only way to do news on television is not to be terrified of it. Most of the news isn't very important. In fact, very little of it is."

"The one function TV news performs very well is that when there is no news we give it to you with the same emphasis as if there were. "

David's gone now. He was one of the best thinkers in news broadcasting; part of a bygone era. There's a good obit on NYTimes.com [requires registration] Also, a good bio at Museum of Broadcast Communications.

:::

Great quotes from democracy.ru
I haven't even read them all, there are so many! These seem very poignant, considering the times we live in.

- Liberty -

They that can give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty or safety.

The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don't have any.

- Participation -

Those against politics are in favor of the politics inflicted upon them.

Democracy is not something you believe in or a place to hang your hat, but it's something you do. You participate. If you stop doing it, democracy crumbles.

Elections belong to the people. It is their decision. If they decide to turn their back on the fire and burn their behinds, then they will just have to sit on their blisters.

- Flaws -

Democracy consists of choosing your dictators, after they've told you what you think it is you want to hear.

The great thing about democracy is that it gives every voter a chance to do something stupid.

A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until a majority of voters discover that they can vote themselves largess out of the public treasury.

- Ideals -

Freedom is when the people can speak, democracy is when the government listens.

- Thinking -

It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.

Spoon feeding in the long run teaches us nothing but the shape of the spoon.

Only the educated are free.



[ link | e-me ]

Wednesday, June 11, 2003
3:59 PM      

"I have my detractors in Washington. There are bastards who spread things around, of course, who planted nasty things in the media... Not that I cared very much. It was like a mosquito bite in the evening that is there in the morning: an irritant." - Hans Blix

Surprisingly, he's "agnostic" about whether there are or ever were any WMDs in Iraq. He also acknowledged that the US intelligence was highly flawed:

"I agree that the Iraqis are very clever. They have learned, had many years to learn how to hide things. But nevertheless, most of [the] intelligence has not been solid. Maybe they thought it was solid, but it hasn't led us to the right places... It's true that the Iraqis misbehaved and had no credibility, but that doesn't necessarily mean that they were in the wrong."



[ link | e-me ]

12:23 PM      

Moving on...

This morning, I finished wiping off the hard drive called "Miles" on my old PowerPC Mac. It's a 125 MHz machine – so old, that it won't even run Mac OS 9.

Next, I pulled out the Quadra 700, an ancient 68040-based machine from the era of John Sculley – who fancied himself a technologist, but kept thinking like a soft-drink mogul (but I digress). That machine wouldn't even boot. Not going to worry about it. Off to the heap it went.

Then, I dug out my trusty old PowerBook 170. It's funny to hold up next to Denise's iBook. Talk about a generation gap! The iBook's footprint is about the same, but it's about as thick as the PB-170 with the monitor removed. The PowerBook still runs, or rather limps – its whopping 120MB hard drive is clearly having some trouble. The thing's monochrome, running System 7.1. We're talking history here. I rifled through the drive, found very few files that ought to be deleted, and started to think about museums that might appreciate such a device. It's in decent shape. Even the trackball is clean.

:::

Whither Nefertiti?

When Earthlink's news feed featured this story on Nefertiti, they listed it under Entertainment! It's in Health & Science on USAToday.com, the apparent source of the story. I had no idea that we'd not found Nefertiti's mummy, but it turns out she was hated, so there's no record of a royal burial or an elaborate tomb. 300 years after her death, it appears her mummy had been treated with a certain disdain, and was unwrapped and moved into a chamber in the tomb of Amenhotep II.

Amarna Nefertiti page | Links

:::

...Earlier, White House spokesman Ari Fleischer had said Bush was "deeply concerned" that the [Israeli-orchestrated] assassination attempt "will undermine efforts by Palestinian authorities and others to bring an end to terrorist attacks, and does not contribute to the security of Israel."

Uh-huh; and what about what we did in Iraq? And besides, I thought Ari Fleischer was gone. What happened there? Maybe just a rumor.



[ link | e-me ]

Monday, June 09, 2003
11:47 AM      

In Transit
I ride the bus and subway a lot. I see and hear funny/strange/interesting things all the time.

A bearded man with a leather cowboy hat and glasses is sitting on the B52, headed toward Borough Hall in Brooklyn. "Deep down, I'm a peaceful man", he says. I wonder if he means he's something else on the surface.

A couple of days later, another man steps into the car of the C train, headed for Manhattan. In an instant, it's clear that he's asking for money. "My name is Sonny Paine..." he begins. I'm already tuning him out, but having fun with the strange irony of his name: I reinterpret it as "Sunny Pain." No change from me today, Sunny so blue.

A Spanish-language Miller Lite poster in a bus shelter reads "Vive Responsiblemente", which explicitly translates to "Live Responsibly." I like the notion that conjures up: acting and being responsible for how you're living. Of course, the phrase in English is "Drink Responsibly." Interesting translation into Spanish. But then, the Irish might argue that drinking is one of the best ways to live!

At the Clinton Washington station on the C line, a sticker affixed to the Metrocard reader on the turnstile that leads to the platform reads "John Ashcroft is watching you." A little further onto the platform, someone has scrawled in very small print on a poster about subway safety: "Why do black people dress in sports clothes?" Another hand responds "Write larger you coward!" A third has written "Corporate Slavery."

It's a soft drink. It's a skin conditioner. It's both: A poster on the train promotes "Skin Cola – a new beverage for New York." Their site touts "As seen on the NYC subway." Clearly, it's a product that goes "beyond water." How much further? It's anyone's guess.

:::

Saw the first installment of the interview with Hillary on the Today Show. Blech! She's learned to be so careful, and so plastic. She lacks the charisma of Bill. "Today" is trying to milk the interview by breaking it into segments to be run over successive days. I should have counted the number of commercials that ran between the announcement that Hil was up next, and when the interview actually ran. I rarely watch the Today Show anymore. I won't be watching tomorrow. This is one cliffhanger that didn't hang.

:::

Check out The other side of the White House

"Don't hate us because we're Americans... just hate our government." - check out the Flash movie.

Eric Blumrich, who also did Antiwar2, describes himself this way:

Although I have no formal education in political affairs, I have been studying history, politics, and sociology for the past 16 years. While it's not much, it's more experience than Rush Limbaugh, Michael "Savage" Wiener, and Sean Hannity had, combined, before they began spewing their filth into the vox populi.

:::

Martha Stewart, sacrificial ma'am

So Martha must go down.

Or, as a friend calls her, Mothra, after the movie monster that saves Tokyo from Godzilla.

Martha's behavior may have been monstrous, but indicting her won't save the securities industry, or corporate America, from the practices, policies and tendencies that caused the bubble of the late '90s and the recession that still lingers. ...

Maybe they'll get away with it. Especially if Martha can be sacrificed.

And what a character to walk the plank. She can be envied for her blond good looks, taste, social connections and fortunate life. She can be loathed for the mean, hypocritical personality dramatized by Cybill Shepherd on television. By comparison, Ken Lay is just another round-faced Republican White guy. ...

They guy's got a point. I was gleeful to hear that it looks like Martha will actually take the fall – for a while, it really looked like she'd dodge the bullet – but so far, the government's only bitten down on Mothra and a crooked art dealer. Hardly a demonstration of resolve.

So, Mothra will go to some white-collar day camp, and serve out her time, Like Leona Helmsley before her. And maybe she'll come out with just an inkling of what Richard Pryor meant when he joked "If you go into a prison looking to find Justice, that's exactly what you'll find just us."



[ link | e-me ]
 
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