Dec. 3rd, 2003

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so I had to go to the doctor yesterday and I didn't have time to blog about Susan Madrak at Suburban Guerilla, who has entered the long dark eggnog time of the soul and could use a hand right now, and this works out well for you and Susan, because it means now I just send you to Jim's thoughts on the subject, which are written far more elegantly than mine would have been. Also TBogg's funnier. Atrios is on it too. Really, I coulda stood in bed.

If all this bloggy goodness inspires you to give Susan a hand, I would appreciate it.
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White House Defends Mercury Proposal
"The rust belt wasn't going to vote for us anyway, things being what they are"

via Nathan Newman, by way of Ginger: republican judge overrules Labor Department, decides that America doesn't have enough coliform bacteria in our vegetables. On the same subject, Riba Rambles provides a handy "how far do our farmworkers have to go to take a shit indoors" calculator.

RuminateThis on redistricting as a political tool

My little niece is being published. I'm so proud.

In case you were wondering what the appointment in Samarra you keep hearing tell of this past week was all about, here's one version:
There was a merchant in Baghdad who sent his servant to market to buy provisions and in a little while the servant came back, white and trembling, and said, Master, just now when I was in the marketplace I was jostled by a woman in the crowd and when I turned I saw it was Death that jostled me. She looked at me and made a threatening gesture, now, lend me your horse, and I will ride away from this city and avoid my fate. I will go to Samarra and there Death will not find me. The merchant lent him his horse, and the servant mounted it, and he dug his spurs in its flanks and as fast as the horse could gallop he went. Then the merchant went down to the marketplace and he saw me standing in the crowd and he came to me and said, Why did you make a threating getsture to my servant when you saw him this morning? That was not a threatening gesture, I said, it was only a start of surprise. I was astonished to see him in Baghdad, for I had an appointment with him tonight in Samarra.

Spooky, isn't it. John Dos Passos O'Hara wrote a book of the same name, which Hemingway really liked but it's still a good book.

No More Mister Nice Blog, and no wonder. More on our thriving export business in torture devices. Talk about creating a market.

via Digby: John "developing Nixon's strategy of influencing foreign affairs by being a shrieking paranoiac loon" Bolton is back. A basic introduction to Mr. Bolton is here. Also, our new kangaroo court at Gitmo had to replace some folks who didn't hop high enough during the dry run.

If we don't stop picking on the CIA they'll stop giving us bad intelligence data and our soldiers can just stay home and watch their children grow up. That'll show us.

Who is Laurie Mylroie and what did our soldiers ever do to her?

Dwight messes up perfectly good twaddle with, you know, facts. He's always doing that. So tiresome, really. That other lawyer blogger doesn't do that.

Mark A. R. Kleiman: Stephenson and the Philosophick Mercury - thoughts on Quicksilver and Cryptonomicon
sisyphusshrugged: (Default)
in answer to this, from Mark Kleiman
I tend to agree. But I'm waiting for all the defenders of freedom of the press who were upset when the IRC shut down al-Arabiya for helping Saddam Hussein incite murder in Iraq why this case was different. If you can punish "speech" as murder afterwards, why can't you stop it at the time?

I was one of those people. I objected not only to the silencing of al-Arabiya, but to the threat to do the same to CNN and the BBC.

What's the difference?

The difference is that al-Arabiya was shut down for reporting things that had already happened (there were accusations that they had previous warning from the guerillas, but no proof has been offered, and no attack was shown in progress), while the Rwandan "hate radio" stations did stuff like this:
Two worked for a radio station that broadcast lists of people to be killed and revealed where they could be found.

"Let whatever is smoldering erupt," Ngeze wrote in the newspaper before the genocide. "It will be necessary then that the masses and their army protect themselves. At such a time, blood will be poured. At such a time, a lot of blood will be poured."

After President Habyarimana's plane was shot down, the radio called for a "final war" to "exterminate the cockroaches."

During the genocide that followed it broadcast lists of people to be killed and instructed killers on where to find them.

I'm actually at something of a loss to find an equation between the two.

I don't see a problem with supporting a news source reporting what has already happened and condemning a news source explicitly calling for the murders of specific individuals and locating them for the convenience of their would-be murderers.

I'm willing to accept Prof. Kleiman's thesis that media censorship is necessary in war sometimes as a valid viewpoint, although not the one I personally cleave to.

I think it's reaching a bit far to suggest that reporting facts inconvenient to our occupying forces is comparable to broadcasting shopping lists for death squads.


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