"To what will you look for help if you will not look to that which is stronger than yourself?" -- C.S. Lewis

Friday, January 28, 2005

A Cartoon: The thing about this slam of Colin Powell in Harper's is that Bill Clinton's head could be pasted in Powell's head's stead and the toon would work equally well. Hypocrisy isn't very attractive.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Hitch On Iraq's Elections: I caught a local radio interview with Christopher Hitchens earlier today. WBAP’s Mark Davis was awarded a quick satellite hit with Hitch regarding his new book.

In these sorts of interviews (my own station recently had a similar arrangement with Kevin Spacey), you get 10 or 15 minutes—hit and run. Since Davis was far too interested in firing off as many questions as possible within his allotted time, we didn’t get much Hitch for our buck. Thankfully, Hitchens was basically regurgitating his most recent column. All peaked interests were quenched once I’d found it.

It’s been a good week for Who’s Who in Iraq: The New Yorker focused on Dubya’s man Iyad Allawi; and Hitch offers another defense of the recently forgotten-and-then-rediscovered Ahmad Chalabi. Both are must reads.

FCC News: A good sign? We’ll just have to wait and see.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

"Extreme Exploration": MIT is working on a new space suit for future human exploration of the Moon and Mars:

…[the] Bio-Suit System … incorporates a suit designed to augment a person’s biological skin by providing mechanical counter-pressure. The ‘epidermis’ of such a second skin could be applied in spray-on fashion in the form of an organic, biodegradable layer.

This coating would protect an astronaut conducting a spacewalk in extremely dusty planetary environments. Incorporated into that second skin would be electrically actuated artificial muscle fibers to enhance human strength and stamina.

It’s the part about enhancing human strength that really catches the eye. And, as is mentioned later in the article, there are people interested in the military and law enforcement applications of that technology.

Be scared.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Turnover At The FCC: I’m no fan of Michael Powell, and I’m happy to see him go. I just wish there were a better steward of our airwaves waiting to replace him.  Of course, I see no reason to get my hopes up.  

The Seattle Times, however, believes the Bush Administration was “embarrassed” by Powell’s stubborn support for loosened restrictions on media ownership in local markets.  If that’s true, then, at the least, maybe we can hope for a new FCC Chairman who will be content with the current ownership rules.  

Not that I am. I’m for increasing restrictions on media ownership—for getting aggressive and forcing the big media companies to sell off some of their holdings. But, with this president, there is meaningful victory in getting him to call off his dogs.  

As Drudge says: Developing…

Monday, January 24, 2005

The Vote In Iraq: On Friday The Washington Post reported that opinion polls in Iraq continue to show that 80 percent of Iraqis intend to vote on Jan. 30.

By Sunday The New York Times had posted a prominent story on its Web site announcing that Iraqis remain "sharply divided" on the election's "value":

"This election is bogus," Mr. [Hejaz] Hazim said. "There is no drinking water in this city. There is no security. Why should I vote?"

That's the first quote in the story. In case you manage to miss it, the quote also accompanies a photo at the uppermost right of the Web page.

Reporter Jeffrey Gettleman admits:

Granted, the opinions of 50 to 60 people, all told, hardly constitute a scientific sample.

"But," he insists, "They are revealing."

So, faced with polling that indicates that 80 percent of the Iraqi population is "likely" to vote, the NY Times stubbornly responds by trying to define the "value" of the election down. Somehow in the 50 or 60 people interviewed for the Times story, most of those who plan to boycott the vote are quoted in the top half of the story--leaving the voices of more hopeful Iraqis to the bottom half (in fact, on the Web site, they're pushed to the second page of the story).

Just a quick look at how the NY Times shapes its readers' perceptions of the world.

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