Thursday, November 03, 2005

Blame it on the Democrats was one of the first places I saw news the bill to exempt blogging from campaign reform had been defeated. I would have been angry about the news as it is written: it seems like Democrats are all for bureaucracy. But the real deal is that they are against loopholes for dodging campaign spending limits. Those loopholes are the bane of our democracy...let a better law be offered to "free the bloggers from the government". Damn lying repugs. Damn lying reporters.

Friday, October 07, 2005

A bit of Good News for blogging

The Delaware Supreme court overturned a lower court, finding that anonymous bloggers who target goverment officials DO NOT have to divulge their identity at request of the government.
Unless the ever more mideval SCOTUS gets in on the act, Delaware's ruling that blogs are the 21st century equivilent of the time honored political pamphlet [you know, the kind Sam Adams used to publish] and clearly protected free speech will stand as the last word in that state and probably be regarded as precedent in other states as well.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Basics of Objectivity

Lindsay has just written a post that is about as clear as you can get about the difference between cultural sensitivity and ideological clutter in journalism. She is always worth reading.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

What global warming?

If you search googlenews for "climate change", you get a clear picture of US media bias:
...only one US pub even mentions all the activity to remedy a problem the US govt steadfastly refuses to pull its head out of its ass and admit exists. The one exception: auto dealers claim US position on gutting climate change policy statements is still dominating the response...oh yeah? not on the planet where UK, EU, Russia and Canada are located! Give Time Mag a rare bit of credit for asking on its cover 2 weeks ago whether global warming was making for worse hurricanes...they ask a question most academics and scientists answered some time ago but being at the back of the parade beats marching the wrong way. Hell, even "business"es
pledge to help redress climate change...I thought my govt always listened when business talked.

Business 'will help' on climate change
Times Online, UK - 39 minutes ago
Business leaders have signalled their willingness to make a "significant" contribution to tackling climate change but warned against extra regulations and ...
Government fires industry climate change warning Guardian Unlimited
Climate change strategy meeting BBC News
Business and government search for climate change answers DeHavilland
News Wales - Reuters AlertNet - all 38 related »
Students and Researchers in Churchill to Study Climate Change
Canada NewsWire (press release), Canada - 2 hours ago
... The students are working to understand the effects that climate change is having on the far north and its delicate, threatened ecology. ...
Melting Planet ZNet
all 6 related »

ITAR-TASS EU launches climate change project in Russia
Gateway 2 Russia, Russia - 14 hours ago
... goal of this project is to help the Russian government implement the Kyoto Protocol under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). ...
US Appears to Win Global Warming Debate American International Automobile Dealers Association
EU to fund Kyoto Protocol implementation in Russia RosBusinessConsulting
European Commission Gives Russia an Additional ˆ2 Million for ... Kommersant
all 6 related »
Media Advisory - Dutch Canadian Conference on Climate Change 2005
Canada NewsWire (press release), Canada - 22 hours ago
... On October 6-7, 2005, the Governments of the Netherlands and Canada will convene a multi-stakeholder conference on "Innovation in Combating Climate Change". ...

BBC News Cities gather for climate change summit
This is Local London, UK - 23 hours ago
REPRESENTATIVES from more than 20 of the world's major cities are meeting in London today to discuss climate change. The World Cities ...
London Mayor Holds Climate Change Meeting Backed by BP, EDF Bloomberg
London hosts climate change talks DeHavilland
Cities offer hope for cleaner world (subscription)
All Headline News - BBC News - all 9 related »
Climate change boosts visitors to Alaska, Antarctica - 23 hours ago
... visitors, about half of them arriving by cruise ship. Concern over climate change is contributing to the rising number of visitors. ...
Organising to stop the threat of climate change, UK - 23 hours ago
Climate change is leading to devastating hurricanes, melting the polar ice caps and threatening the planet. George Bush and Tony ...
Provinces chided on climate change
Globe and Mail, Canada - Oct 3, 2005
The ways Canada's provinces are addressing climate change are "piecemeal, scattered, and in some cases, "non-existent," a new report from the David Suzuki ...
Provinces inconsistent over climate change National Post
Provinces mixed bag when it comes to tackling climate change: new ... Brandon Sun
Provinces differ on climate change action
all 18 related »
Flying in the face of climate change
innovations report, Germany - Oct 4, 2005
In 75 years’ time, the UK could be plagued by fly populations 250% up on today’s levels if forecasts of climate change prove accurate, ecologists have ...
EU to launch second climate change programme, Belgium - Oct 4, 2005
During a stakeholder conference on 24 October, the Commission will start a new phase of its climate change strategy. The accent ...
Climate change conference EUROPA (press release)
all 3 related »

New! Get the latest news on climate change with Google Alerts.

Friday, September 30, 2005

I can't believe this!

NYTimes reports that our congress will seek the opinions of Micheal Crichton on what to do about global warming and emissions control. I would fully expect our pro-oil anti-science white house to seek such advice but congress? I voted for some of those turkeys [well, not Inhofe]! WTF is going on here? Were all the scientists too busy Sen. Inhofe? Or is it that you just don't understand what you don't like. Writing fiction is NOT a qualification for explaining environmental data to congressmen. There ought to be a law that congress has to get expert witnesses who have proper credentials, resume's and accomplishments or publications in their fields. Heavens! Just give us a college professor at least! Maybe we could even extend this law to FEMA appointments?

Thursday, September 29, 2005

What would real homeland security include?

I think Simson is onto something here. A truely safe country would, among other things, be one where there would be enough benefits for registering your entry to the country with authorities that those who only crossed borders for the usual economic reasons all remained "visible", leaving only those with nefarious purposes to be detected.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

US Presidential elections buy the numbers

University of Buffalo sociologist James Campbell has done a study of the 2004 election. It has a few sobering numbers in it. I am a babe in the woods when it comes to political science and sociology [and much else as I hear from the few who have read my blogging] so I am left wondering a few things when I encounter a paper like Dr. Campbell's.

Some of Campbell's conclusions:
  • According to Campbell, the net result of the 2004 campaign was quite small, shifting no more than one percentage point of the vote in Bush's favor. The election was as close as it was, and there was so little change during the campaign, because of the extent of party polarization in the electorate, he says. "With the public polarized, the campaign in 2008 is unlikely to shift many voters one way or the other."
  • Presidents can survive sub-50 percent approval ratings. "The actual neutral point for presidential approval appears to be in the mid-40 percent range,"
  • With the 2008 election lacking an incumbent candidate, and with one party seeking a third term, we should expect a close race,
  • Opinions on the war of terrorism favored Bush in 2004 by a margin of at least 10 points, but opinions about the war in Iraq were nearly evenly divided. [gagggh!]
  • The 2004 election once again demonstrated that northern liberal Democrats face an uphill battle in post-1968 presidential elections. A majority of the electorate consistently regarded Bush as the candidate who shared their values.
["values"? values shouldn't get people killed!]

My questions:

  1. Is this study to be taken seriously? Most of its conclusions are bad news for liberals. Campbell did predict a Bush victory but by Sept, 04, so were many others.
  2. What does it take for a scholarly treatment at a lesser known academic institution to float all the way to the top of the information sewer so people would even know this information and opinion existed? The author/title get a whopping 4 hits in Google and that is the equivilent of near invisibility. Does everyone just assume invisibility is always deserved? I don't think so.
  3. Full content of the study are on sale in a collection published by the Acadamey of Political Science. The whole book looks interesting but I don't have the time or background to determine this book's proper location in the hierarchy of "things to know if you want to fix America". Any takers? Anyone read it already? Majikthise, you got the chops for this sort of reading, interested?.
  4. If the vote fraud stories have become dust in the wind to all but a few Bev Harris supporters and don't get a line of newsprint any more, is there somewhere else to look beside the papers or Harris' web site when you want to get refereed and reasonably neutral retrospective assessments of the extent of vote tampering? The APS book doesn't seem to directly touch on the matter even though one article calls for electoral reform via constitutional ammendment.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Lies and Consequences

Frank Rich has a good article in the NYTimes today, noting the decay in freedom of the press that has occurred over the years between Watergate and the present. It its sad and scary to see the corruption of journalistic notions of right and wrong under the steady pressure of Republican administrations. But right and wrong are not just points in a debate...there are consequences and Mr. Rich points them out vividly:
"Time Warner seems to have far too much money on the table in Washington to exercise absolute editorial freedom when covering the government; at this moment it's awaiting an F.C.C. review of its joint acquisition (with Comcast) of the bankrupt cable company Adelphia. "Is this a journalistic company or an entertainment company?" David Halberstam asked after the Pearlstine decision. We have the answer now. What high-level source would risk talking to Time about governmental corruption after this cave-in? What top investigative reporter would choose to work there?"
I think I can let my Time mag. subscription expire now after 40 years of reading it nearly every week. [Were you looking for THAT consequence Mr. Pearlstine?]

Thursday, July 07, 2005

who wants to know? who wants you not to know?

The news that Halliburton quietly got another 5 billion dollar contract was "underplayed" to say the least. This story was linked "above the fold" on Al's English edition. It was nowhere to be found on NYTimes or WashingtonPost. From the article:

Halliburton bags another Iraq contract

The US military has signed on Halliburton to do nearly $5 billion in new work in Iraq under a giant logistics contract that has so far earned the Texas-based firm $9.1 billion.

Linda Theis, a spokeswoman for US Army Field Support Command in Rock Island, Illinois, said on Wednesday that the military signed the work order with Halliburton unit Kellogg Brown and Root in May.

The new deal, worth $4.97 billion over the next year, was not made public when it was signed because the Army did not consider such an announcement necessary, she said.

"We did not announce this task order as this is really not something we ever really thought about doing," said Theis.

Maybe 2:00 P.M. GMT is late for the NYTimes but it was not in their Reuters or AP feeds either and the deal was actually signed yesterday. I guess these news outlets agree with the Army's hush hush stance: "nothing to see here, move along now!"